US 2923547 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 2, 1960 w. H. HEEREMANS 2,923,547
BASEBALL BATTING CAGE Filed Sept. 19, 1956 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 19 13 o on "L I f I I l G INVENTOR. ill Z67. Z. W/L LIAM hf HEEREMAA/ Y B W.U.G,yg.
HGiA/T Feb. 2, 1960 w. H. HEEREMANS 2,923,547
BASEBALL BATTING'CAGE Filed Sept. 19, 1956 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 3 ,zz 4 15 a M I 51 41 1/ INVENTOR.
W/LZ/AM H. HEEREMA N5 57.4. was. QM
iii/V7 Feb. 2, 1960 w. H. HEEREMANS BASEBALL BATTING CAGE 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Sept. 19, 1956 w MA M N EE a mg H M M U m BASEBALL BATTING CAGE William H. Heeremans, Princeton, NJ. Application September 19, 1956, Serial No. 610,830 5 Claims. (Cl. 273-26) The present invention relates generally to athletic equipment and devices, and particularly isdirected to a new and improved baseball batting cage structure.
At present a number of baseball batting cages of various different types are used by various professional and amateur organizations. The primary purpose in using batting cages is to reduce the considerable financial loss occasioned by loss of baseballs during batting practice. There are, of course, other advantages to be realized in using batting cages such as, for example, the convenience of not having to retrieve errant foul drives and also the fact that it is not necessary to use a catcher during batting practice.
Some of these cages are relatively small in size and simple in structure but serve only to stop low foul balls which are deflected by the batsman immediately to the rear of home plate. Other cages are somewhat larger and stop higher foul'balls and some balls which are fouled to either side of the plate. However, in general, the larger cages are rather complicated mechanically and therefore are diflicult to assemble for quick use. Furthermore, they usually are quite awkward and cumbersome in appearance and design and are difficult to move about from place to "place. Additionaly, these cages often require an excessive amount of storage space when they are not in use;
An object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved baseball batting cage.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved batting cage having features of construction which are designed to reduce the number of baseballs'lost during batting practice.
A further object of the invention is to provide an improved batting cage which may be at least partially collapsed when not in use, and which may be erected for use simply and quickly.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a cage of the above type which is readily movable and occupies very little storage space when not in use.
The foregoing and other objects and advantages are achieved in accordance with the invention by providing a batting cage frame in which a pluraliy of rigid substantially U-shaped frame members are mechanically joined together at or near their respective open ends. By joining the U-shaped members together in this manner, the members thereby are pivotally connected. The pivotally connected members then may be successively pivoed into position and secured in place by means of spacer bars and a net may be fastened to each of the frame members to form a hood-like enclosure.
When the cage is not in use and is to be stored'it is necessary only that spacer bars be detached from t. e U- shaped frame members. The pivotally joined U-shaped members then collapse and are foldable along each other and the device occupies very little storage space.
The design of the cage is such that when it is erected for use the bottom portion of the' cage rests fiat on the surface of the baseball diamond. This feature of design United States Patent 0 obviates the possibility that low foul balls on or near the ground may escape from the cage. However, notwithstanding the fact that the bottom portion of the cage rests vfiat on the surface of the diamond and the furt..er fact that the cage is relatively large in size means are provided whereby wheels readily may be afiixed to' the cage without undue physical effort so that the cage easily may be moved from place to place.
The invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
Figures 1 through 4 are pictorial representations of a Similar reference numerals are applied to similar elements throughout the drawings.
Referring to Figure l, and according to a typical embodiment of the invention, a baseball batting cage is shown in assembled form which is to be erected for use.
The cage includes a base section comprising a pair of substantially identical rigid U-shaped frame members 11 and 13 which have their open ends mechanically joined together by means of their being bolted or otherwise connected between two pairs 15 and 17 of spaced rectangular plates. The U-shaped members 11 and 13 preferably are formed from a durable rust-proof metal such as an aluminum or other light-weight alloy and comprise lengths of hollow pipe or tubing. Whiie each of the members I 11 and 13 may constitute relatively long single leng.hs' of pipe or tubing, for practical reasons it may be more feasible to employ for each member shorter lengths of pipe joined by suitable fittings. The open ends of the members 11 and 13 are connected between the pairs of plates 15 and 17 in such a manner that the members 11 and 13 are free to pivot with respect to each other in a vertical direction. While other types of coupling may be employed for mechanically joining together the frame members 11 and 13, the rectangular plate arrangement is particularly effective inasmuch as it additionally affords desired mechanical strength at the point of connection. The frame members 11 and 13 of the base are spaced a predetermined distance apart by means of different lengths of pipe or tubing 19, 21, and 23 connected between the frame members at substanially opposite spaced points along their respective lengths. The members 19, j
The cage further includes another pair of substantially identical U-shaped frame members 27 and 29 which are like the members 11, 13, and 25 in all respects exceptthat the legs of the members 27 and 29 are shorter than the legs of the members 11, 13, and 25. These frame members 27 and 29 have their open ends pivotally connected to the frame member 13 of the base section by mechanical couplings 31 which are spaced from the plates 15 and 17 a distance approximately equal to the difference l in the lengths of the legs referred to above. Specifically, and by way of example, these couplings 31 comprise aper- This member 25 also has anew e a'chof the U-shaped frame members so'that whe'ngthe cage is ready for use the cage is wholly enclosed and foul balls cannot escape fro-mthe confines of the cage. To initiate the erection of the cage for use, apair of bars 35 of the type shown in Figure2 are employed.
-These bars comprise lengths of hollowpipe or tubing of the type usedin the U-shaped frame members, and the bars have theirjends sem circularly formed, as shown m F gure 7, to seat onand around a portion of the peripheries of the frame. members 25 and 29. The concave portion of each semi-circularly formed end has projectrngtherefrom a spring-actuated pin 30 which automationto a frame member such as the member 25 and, after the bar 35 is properly seated thereon, the pin automatically sprfng s back to its original position and locks the bar onto the frame member.
, Thus, after one end of each of the two bars 35is cOnnec ted to the frame member '25 in the manner described above, the remaining ends of the bars 35 are'grasped by the person erecting the cage and used to pivot the frame member 25 upwardly. The remaining ends of the bars 35 are then locked onto the next frameirnember 29. Then, as shown in Figure 3, another pair of bars 37, sim- 'ilar to the'bars 35, have two of their ends locked onto the frame member 29, and the free ends of the bars 37 are utilized to pivot the frame member 29 into pos'tion (and also simultaneously advance. theposition of the frame member 25); The free ends of the bars 37 then are locked onto the next frame member 27. Then, and as shown in Figure 4, a still further pair of bars 39 is used to pivot the frame member 27 into position and to advance the positions of the frame members 25 and 29..
The free ends of the bars 39 are then snapped and locked onto the frame member 13 of the base of the cage. When this operat'on is completed, the cage is fullyerected and ready for use.
.which the batting cage of Figures 1 through 4 isrendered movable or portable.
According to this aspect of the invention a sleeve 41 is connected to the frame member 11 at a point between the pair of plates 15 'andone of the base support members 19. The wheel assembly adapted to. be connected to the sleeve 4 1.comprises a wheel,4 3,having an axle 45 to ,which one .end of a lever arm 47 is connected. One; portion of the arm 47 extends radially from the axle 45 of the wheel 43 a distance slightly greater than the radius of the wheel. The remain ng portion of the arm extends at an obtuseangle with respect to the radial portion, this angle being from about 130 to .140". At the vertex of the obtuse angle formed by the'two portions of the arm 47 a shaft 149 extends perpendicularly from the side of the leverarm which is most remote from the wheel; The. longitudinal cally is depressed when Vone of the bars 3.5 is snapped The 'eccentricrelation of the shaft 49 and the axle 45-results in one side of the cage being elevated off the ground when the lever arm 47 is manipulated as described. By a substantially identical arrangement, which will not be described in the interest of avoiding undue repetition,
the other side of the cage may have a similar wheel assembly connected thereto.
In Figure-.6 .a front .view of the lower portion of the batting cage'iss'hovtTn whichilliistfatesihe use of a canvas or tarpaulin 53. across theb'a'ckpart of portion of the base, section. The, canvas or tarpa uli n, reduces the extra h'eavy' wear arid tear inflicted on the portion of the net immediatelvto therear of thebatsman. The figure additionally shows'a porton of a two-wheeled dolly 55 which is adapted to be connected by some such means as a trailer hitch to the central part of the closed end of the U-shaped member 11. When the side wheels 43 and the jdolly'SSarecOnnected'to the cageythe dolly may beusecl to "move andguideth'e cage to whatever'locationis de sired.
What is claimed is: I H ILA baseball batting'cage framefcomprising, a base 7 for said frame adaptedto rest hat on 'thesurface of a When thecage is not in use and is tobe stored it is necessary only that one reverse the procedure for erectaxis of this shaft 49 is parallel to but not concentric with the axis of the axle 45.
Because of the fact that the bend in the lever arm 47 occursat (a point along the length of the, arm which is further from the caterer the axle 45 than the radius baseball diamond ncluding a rigid U-shaped member, a plurality of additional rigid substantially U-shaped members each having one freeend pivotally connected to one leg of saidfirst-namedU-shaped member an point'alo'ng the length of said one leg which is nearer to the open end of said first-named member than to its closed end and the other free end pivotally connected to the remaining leg of sa d first-narned niember' at a point along the length of said remaining leg which is substantially opposite said first-named point, and a spacer bar for connection between adjacent ones of said'additional U-shaped mem-, bers for maintaining 'a predetermined spacing between: 'said adjacent members, each endof said spacer bar being semi-circularly shaped to seat on and around a portion of the'periphery of said U-shaped members and including a spring-actuated pin extending from the concave surface of said semi-circularly shaped end.
'2. A baseball batting cage frame 'as claimed in claim .1
"wherein said base includes mean for receiving a wheel assembly for moving said cage.
3. A baseball batting cage frame comprising; a base for said frame adapted to restflat on the surface of. a baseball diamond including, a firstpair of substantially identical rigid U-shaped members, means for mechani- Cally joining the open ends of sa'd'pair of U-shaped members so that said members are pivotallyconnjected to gether, and a plurality of rigid spacer members forfmaintaining a'predetermind spacing between said pair of U-shaped members; a further rigid U-shaped member, substantiallyidentical to the U-shapedmembers in said base, having its open ends connected to said mechanical joining meansof said base 'so that said further member is pivotally connected to said base; a second pairof substantially identical rigd U-shaped members similar to said first-named U-shaped members except that the legs of said second-named pair of U-shapedmembers are shorter than the legs of said first-named U-shaped members; means connected to one of the U-shaped members ofsaid base,and spaced from the open end of said member a distance approximately equal 'to the difference in length between thememb'ers ofsaid pairs of. U-shaped members, for pivotally connecting said second=na1ned=pa1rof U-shaped members to sa"d base; and, a' spacer bar for connection between said base and the pivotal Uashaped member adjacent thereto and a spacer bar for connection between adjacent pivotal .U shaped membersv for maintaining a predetermined spacing betweensaid mem-- bers, each end of each of said spacer bars including means for snap-fastening said bars to said ad acent.
"Ll-shaped members. i
- 4, A' baseb'all batting cageflfram'e comprising, a base for said" framehdapted 'to rest hat "on the surface'of 'a baseball diamond including a rigid U-shaped member, a plurality of additional rigid substantially U-shaped members each having one free end pivotally connected to one leg of said first-named U-shaped member at a point along the length of said one leg which is nearer to the open end of said first-named member than to its closed end and the other free end pivotally connected to the remaining leg of said first-named member at a point along the length of said remaining leg which is substantially opposite said first-named point, and a spacer bar for connection between adjacent U-shaped members for maintaining a predetermined spacing between said members, each end of said spacer bar being semi-circularly shaped to seat on and around a portion of the periphery of said U-shaped members and including a spring-actuated pin extending from the concave surface of said semi-circularly shaped end.
5. A baseball batting cage frame comprising; a base for said frame adapted to rest flat on the surface of a baseball diamond including, a first pair of substantially identical rigid U-shaped members, means for mechanically joining the open ends of said pair of U-shaped members so that said members are pivotally connected together, and a plurality of rigid spacer members for maintaining a predetermined spacing between said pair of U-shaped members; a further rigid U-shaped member, substantially identical to the U-shaped members in said base, having its open ends connected to said mechanical joining means of said base so that said further member is pivotally connected to said base; a second pair of substantially identical rigid U-shaped members similar to said first-named U-shaped members except that the legs of said second-named pair of U-shaped members are shorter than the legs of said first-named U-shaped members; means connected to one of the U-shaped members of said base, and spaced from the open end of said member a distance approximately equal to the difference in length between the members of said pairs of U-shaped members for pivotally connecting said second-named pair of U-shaped members to said base; and, a spacer bar for connection between said bar and the pivotal U-shaped member connected thereto and a spacer bar for connection between adjacent pivotal U-shaped members for maintaining a predetermined spacing between said members, each end of said spacer bar being semi-circularly shaped to seat on and around a portion of the periphery of said U-shaped members and including a spring-actuated pin extending from the concave surface of said semi-circularly shaped end.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 229,071 Agnew June 22, 1880 849,941 Titus Apr. 9, 1907 2,292,109 Engel Aug. 4, 1942 2,513,764 Vonder Ahe July 4, 1950 2,689,579 Sartori Sept. 21, 1954 FOREIGN PATENTS 3,164 Great Britain Feb. 8, 1907