US 2955823 A
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Oc 11, 19 M. L. CHANKO 2,955,823
BATTING PRACTICE DEVICE Filed Feb. 25, 1959 IN V EN TOR.
ATTOR/VfYS for said balls.
United States Patent BATTING PRACTICE DEVICE Mortimer L. Chanko, South Orange, N.J., assignor to Educational Products, Inc., Newark, N.J., a corporation of New Jersey Filed Feb. 25, 1959, Ser. No. 795,397
3 Claims. (Cl. 273-26) The present invention relates to a batting practice device.
More specifically, the present invention relates to a batting practice device wherein baseballs may be successively discharged under the control of the batter, one at the time, and which discharged balls follow a path simulating that of a pitched ball which passes through the strike zone of the batter.
It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide an improved batting practice device of generally improved and simplified construction.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a batting practice device having means for discharging the balls from a magazine, one at the time, under the control of the batter, and having means for imparting to the discharged balls a movement along a path which simulates that of a pitched ball and which passes through the strike zone of the batter.
Another object of the invention is to provide a unitary wire-shaped formation releasably secured to the discharge opening of a magazine for guiding the discharged balls and for providing gate means so as to discharge one of said balls at the time.
The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more fully understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying illustrative drawings.
In the drawings:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the batting practice device according to the invention in position to be utilized;
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view, on a larger scale, taken along line 22 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a sectional view, taken along line 3-3 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is a perspective view, illustrating an end part of the wire formation according to the invention in Fig. 1;
Fig. 5 is a view similar to Fig. 2 illustrating a modification of the invention; and
Fig. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 of Fig. 5.
Referring now to the drawings, the device 10 of the present invention comprises in general a magazine 12 provided at one end thereof with a formation 14 which defines a guideway or runway 15 for the balls B in the magazine and which also defines a gate or stop 16 The device 10 is mounted in a tilted position thereof, as shown in Fig. 1, so that the balls may be gravity fed toward the guideway 15 when stop 16 is moved out of the path of said balls. Any suitable mounting or support may be provided for mounting device 10 in said tilted position thereof. For example, and as shown in Fig. 1, there is provided a tripod 17 having legs 17a, 17b, and 170 pivot-ally connected at their upper ends, respectively, to a sleeve 18. A standard 20 has the lower part thereof inserted in 'sleeve 18, and is supported in an upwardly extending position thereof by means of a set screw 22. The lower end of 2,955,823 Patented Oct. 11, 1960 Ice standard 20 is provided with a spiked portion 23 so that it adapted to be embedded into the earth thereby dispensing with the necessity of a tripod. Standard 20 is adjustable in height by means of the telescopic arrangement, as shown in Fig. 1. At the upper end of standard 20 there is provided an annular or ring-shaped member 24 which is adapted to releasably hold the magazine 12. Ring 24 is mounted for pivotal movement about standard 20 so that it may be adjusted so as to provide any desired angle of inclination for the magazine 12.
Magazine 12 comprises a tubular member open at the opposite ends thereof to define a loading opening 26 and a discharge opening 28. At the discharge end of magazine 12 there is provided the previously mentioned formation 14 which defines simultaneously the stop means 16 for preventing the discharge of the balls through opening 28 and the runway 15 for guiding the movement of the discharged balls from the magazine 12.
Referring particularly to Figs. 1, 2, 3 and 4, it will be noted that formation 14 may comprise a continuous wire shaped so as to define a pair of parallel spaced wire portions 30, 32 joined at one end by arcuate part 34, and terminating at the other end in a ring-shaped part 36 which is adapted to fit into a circular groove 38 provided therefor on magazine 12 adjacent the discharge end thereof, for releasably securing ring-shaped part 36 to said magazine.
Wire formation 14 is resilient, and it is mounted onto magazine 12 by inserting or snapping part 36 in groove 38. When the wire formation is mounted as aforedescribed, wire portions 30 and 32 extend from the bottom of part 36 along the surface of magazine 12 and define straight portions 30a, 32a respectively. At the discharge opening 28, wire portion 30 and 32 extend upwardly and then curve outwardly to define stop portions 30b and 32b, respectively, which are normally biased as shown by the full lines in Figs. 1 and 2 to define a gate for normally preventing the discharge of the balls B from the magazine 12. Wire portions 30 and 32 then extend forwardly of gate or stop portions 30b and 32b to define straight portions 300 and 320, respectively, which, as shown, may be inclined from the longitudinal axis of magazine 12. Wire portions 30 and 32 terminate in upwardly curved portions 30d and 32d, respectively, joined at their outer ends by the previously described arcuate part 34.
In the normal position of the device, balls B are inserted in the magazine through opening 26 thereof and resilient wire formation 14 is in its normal position shown by the solid lines in Figs. 1 and 2 in which portions 30b, 32b, are biased in position to prevent the discharge of balls B. Gravity causes the balls to move downwardly through magazine 12, and said portions 30b, 32b prevent said balls from being discharged through opening 28 of the magazine. The device 10 is now ready for its utilization. To operatethe device, the batter depresses the free end of wire formation 14, to the lower dashed position thereof shown in Figs. 1 and 2. This removes stop portions 30b, 32b from the path of the lowermost gravity biased ball B, thereby enabling the latter to roll out of magazine 12 onto the spaced wire portions 30c, 320 of wire formation 14 which define a guideway during the downward movement of said ball. It will be understood that the batter depresses the wire formation for a fractional period of time to permit only one ball to be discharged from the magazine 12, after which he places the bat on his shoulder in position for batting practice. Due to the resiliency of wire formation 14, upon re moval of the bat, formation 14 will move to the upper dashed position shown in Fig. 1, and stop portions 30b, 32b will be biased in position to prevent the next ball from being discharged. In the meantime, the ball B which has'just been discharged rolls down the guideway 30c, 32c, picking up momentum, and the curved end portions 30d, 32d cause said ball to take on an upward motion. as it leaves-wire formation 14, to follow. apath or trajectory in the air which is substantially similar to that followed by a pitched ball and which passes through the strike zonerof the'batter who is in position to swing his bat for his batting practice. Wire formation 14 is auto matically restored to its normal position shown by' the full lines in Figs. 1 and 2, due to the resiliency'thereof, and the same steps can be repeated for discharging the next ball from the magazine 12 which will follow substantially'the same path previously described.
It will be apparent that the height of magazine 12 as Well as the angle of inclination thereof can be adjusted to any desired value so that the balls which are discharged follow a predetermined path as may be desired by the batter.
, Thus it is seen that the device according to the invention as described in connection with Figs. 1 through 4 enables a batter, whether a child or an 'adult, to engage in batting practice without requiring the assistance of another person, with the balls being discharged one at the time and following a predetermined path simulating that normally followed by a pitched ball during batting practice. Wire formation 14 may be made of one continuous length of wire shaped in the manner described above, or in any other suitable way. It will be noted that the junctions 4t}-4i between the portions 30a, 32a and ring-shaped member 36 are seated in groove 38 and define a fulcrum for wire formation 14 when the end portion thereof is depressed by the bat.
Referring toFigs. 5 and 6, there is shown another embodiment of the batting practice device according to the invention in which a different wire formation 14' is used. As shown, magazine 12 is provided adjacent the discharge end thereof with a collar 41. Wire formation 14', in this embodiment, has portions 30'a and 32'a thereof secured to said collar, at the bottom part thereof, instead of terminating in a ring-shaped member as in the embodiment of Figs. 1 through 4. Wire formation 14' is in all other respects shaped similarly to wire for.- mation 14 of Figs. 1 to 4 and is resiliently biased so as to provide stop portions 30'b, 32'b normally biased for preventing the discharge of balls B from magazine 12'.
Thus it is seen that the batting practice device described aboveis eminently wellsuited to accomplish the objects of the invention.
desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
V 1., A batting practice device comprising, housing means for balls of the typeadapted to be hit by a batter, said housing means being provided with an opening for discharging said ball, means for biasing balls contained in said housing means toward said discharge opening, and resilient means releasably secured to said housing means and extending therefrom, said resilient means having one part normally biased in a closing position thereof in which its prevents the discharge of said balls through said opening and having another part extending from said one part and defining a guideway for the balls discharged through said opening, said resilient means being movable under the control of the batter for moving said one part from said closing position thereof whereby to permit the discharge of said balls, one at the time, from said housing onto said guideway, said resilient means comprising a one-piece Wire formation shaped so as to define a pair of spaced parallel wire portions having a bent part confronting. said discharge opening and defining said one part thereof, and having a straight part extending from said bent part and an upwardly curved part extending from said straight part, said straight part and said upwardly curved part together defining said guideway.
2. A batting practice device comprising, housing means for balls of the type adapted to be hit by a batter, said housing means comprising an open ended tubular member mounted in aninclined disposition for gravity biasing balls contained therein toward the lower open end thereof which defines'a discharge opening for said balls, and resilient means releasably secured to said housing means and extending therefrom, said resilient means having one part normally biased in a closing position thereof in which it prevents the discharge of said balls through said opening and having another part extending from said one part and defining a guideway for the balls discharged through said opening, said resilient means being movable under the control of the batter for moving said one part from said closing position thereof whereby to permit the discharge of said balls, one at the time,
from said housing onto said guideway, said resilient means comprising a one-piece wire formation terminating at one end thereof in a ring-shaped portion snapengaged in -a groove provided therefor on said tubular member adjacent said discharge opening thereof, said wire formation further comprising spaced parallel. Wire portions extending from the bottom of said ring-shaped portion toward said discharge opening and bent upwardly at said opening to define said one part normally biased in position to prevent the discharge of said balls, said wire portions being bent outwardlyand downwardly at the upper end of said one part to define said guideway for guiding balls discharged from said tubular member and imparting thereto a trajectory passing through the strike zone of the batter.
3. A batting practice device comprising, housing means for balls of the type adapted-to be hit by a batter, said housing means comprising an open ended tubular member mounted in an inclined disposition for gravity biasing balls contained therein toward the lower open end thereof which defines a dischargeopening for said balls, and resilient-means releasably secured to said housing means and extending therefrom, said resilient means having one part normally biased in a closing position thereof in which it prevents the discharge of; said balls through said opening and having another part extending-from said one part and defining a guideway for the balls discharged through said opening', said resilient means being movable under the control of the batter for moving said one part from said closing position thereof whereby to permit the discharge of said balls, one at the time, from said housing-onto said guideway, said resilient means comprising a one-piece wire formation defining a pair of parallel spaced wire portions joined together at one end'of said formation and releasably secured to said tubular member at the other end of the formation, said References'Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,211,738 Marty Jan. ,9, 1917 2,754,123 Davidson July 10, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS Denmark Mar. 27, 1934