US 3111318 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 19, 1963 w. G. NORTHRUP 3,111,318
Filed Sept. 27, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet l GRGJND SINGLE THRU THE INFIELD INVEN TOR.
WILLIAM G. NORTHRUP BY OLSEN AND STEPHEN SON ATTORNEYS Nov. 19, 1963 w. G. NORTHRUP 3,111,318
Filed Sept, 27, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INV EN TOR.
WILLIAM G. NORTHRUP BY OLSEN AND STEPHENSON ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,111,318 GAME Wiliiam G. Northrup, 125 'W. Hoover, Ann Arbor, Mich. Filed Sept. '27, 1960, Ser. No. 58,776 6Claims. (Cl. 27390) This invention relates generally to games, and more particularly to a baseball game of a type to be played indoors.
It is an object of this invention to provide an improved baseball game which constitutes a challenge to the physical skill of the players, simulates the difierent playing situations which arise in a regular baseball game, and is readily adaptable to players having varied degrees of skill.
Further objects, features and advantages of this invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following description, the appended claims, and the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the home plate unit in the game of this invention;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the playing field assembly in the game of this invention;
FIGURE 3 is a side elevational view of the home plate unit shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is a side elevational view of the playing field assembly shown in FIGURE 2, with some parts broken away and other parts shown in section for the purpose of clarity;
FIGURE 5 is a plan view of the ball used in the game of this invention;
FIGURES 6 and 7 are plan and side elevational views, respectively, of a hat or paddle member in the game of this invention;
FIGURE 8 is a side elevational view of a fielders glove or net used in the game of this invention;
FIGURE 9 is a perspective view of a scoreboard assembly in the game of this'invention;
FIGURES 10 to 13, inclusive, are diagrammatic views illustrating the successive steps that are followed in play- .ing the game of this invention.
With reference-to the drawings, the game of this invention is illustrated as consisting of a home plate unit 10 (FIGURES land 3), aplaying field assembly 12 (FIG- URES 2 and 4), a ball 14 which is formed of a light plastic or equivalent material, a bat or paddle member 16 (FIGURES 6 and'7), a fielders glove or net'18 (FIGURE 8),-and a scoreboard 25) (FIGURE 9). The home plate unit 10 consists ofa base assembly .21 which includes a downwardly and forwardly inclined bottom base member 22 provided with upstanding side walls 24 which are connected at their rear ends by an upstanding rear wall 26 which is formed intermediate its ends with an upwardly opening slot 28. The base 22 is divided into three portions or sections 30, 32 and 34 by a pair of upstanding partitions 36 secured to the base 22 and positioned so that they are substantially parallel to the side walls 24. The assembly 21 also includes a'pair of closely spaced parallel legs'members 38 which are positioned below and secured to the base member-.22 sothat the base member 22-is supported inan inclined position in which a tapered lip member 40,.formed of a rubber, plasticor similar material and securedto the front edge of the base member 22, is adjacent the floor or other playing surface. A pair of Single in Left Field.
suction cups 42, only one of which is shown, secured to the front corners of the base 22 are provided for maintaining the home plate unit It) in a stationary position on the supporting surface. A third suction cup 44 is also mounted on the legs 38 adjacent the rear end thereof for this purpose.
A ball propelling plate or member 46 of a size to be movable vertically between the partitions 36is positioned within the center section 32 of the home plate unit 10. The plate member 46 is provided with a handle 48 which projects rearwardly through the slot 28 and is pivotally connected intermediate its ends to the legs 38 by a pivot pin 59. Rearwardly .of the .pivot 50, the handle 48 is formed with a portion 52 which is provided with a top pad member 54 formed of a resilient material such as rubber or the like. When the plate 46 is at the bottom of the portion 32 so that it is substantially parallel to the base 22, the handle portion 52 is substantially horizontal as shown in FIGURE 3.
As shown in FIGURE 1, the home plate sections 30 and 34, on opposite sides of the center section 32 are labeled Ball and the section 32 is labeled Strike, and when the ball 14 is received in the section 32, it is supported on the plate 46 so that when the handleportion .52 is moved downwardly, the ball 14 is thrown or propelled upwardly by the upward movement ofthe strike plate 46.
The playing field assembly 12 consists of a frame 56 which is maintained in an upright rearwardly inclined position by a rear brace or leg assembly 58 which is pivotally-connected to the frame 56 and maintained against rearward movement relative to the frame 56 by a connecting chain 60 or the like. The frame 56 carries a back member 62 which is formed of a soft yieldable material such as cloth or the like, so that when the ball 14 hits the back member 62 it will not rebound. A pair of diagonal cloth partition members 64 extend forwardly from the back member 62 and cooperate-with horizontal and vertical cloth partition members-65 'and67, respectively,
and cloth sides '69 so as to divide the playing fieldassembly 12 into a plurality of forwardly opening pockets or ball receivingportions 66,68, 70, 72, 74, 76,78 and 80. The front side'ofthe back member 62 is provided with suitable indicia for labeling each of the pockets as a particular type of well-known hit in a regulation ball game. In the illustrated form of the invention, the pocket 66 is labeled Home Run in the Bleachers, pocket 68 is labeled Double in'Deep Center, the pocket 70 is labeled Triple in Deep Right, the-pocket 72 is labeled Texas League in Right Field, the pocket 74 is labeled Ground Single Through the Infield, the pocket '76 is labeled Single Through the Box,the pocket7 8 is labeled Triple in Deep Left, and pocket is labeled Texas League It is who understood, however, that any of the pockets maybe labeled with any indicia of this type.
The bat or paddle member 16 (FIGURES'6 and 7) consists of an elongated body 82 which is of a substantially fiat shape and is provided at one end with a handle 84. On oneside, the body member'82 is provided with a cover member 36 of a material having high frictional characteristics such as foam rubber or the like, which is preferably glued directly to one side of the body member 82. The glove or fielders mitt 13 consists of a net 88 of a size to receive the ball 14 and provided with a handle 90.
The scoreboard assembly 2 is formed of a flat board member 92 having removable legs 94 and provided with a ruled area 96 on which the score can be kept and on which the runs, hits, and errors in the game can be noted. At one corner, the top side of the board 92 is provided with a container 93 tor ball members 100 which, can conveniently take the form of ordinary marbles. A baseball diamond 162 is painted or otherwise formed on the top side of the board member 92 and openings 164 are formed at positions corresponding to first, second and third base of the diamond 1132. The openings 104 may or may not extend entirely through the board member 92 and are of a size such that a marble 100 can not extend completely into an opening 104. It is only necessary that the openings 164 be of a depth suificient to support a marble 11% in a fixed position on the board 92. At a position corresponding to home plate, the board member 92 is formed with a through opening 166 which is of a diameter greater than the diameter of a marble 100 so that when a marble 100 is positioned in the opening 166, it will drop through the board 92 into a container 1438 which is secured to the under side of the board 92 at a position such that it extends below the opening 106 and projects outwardly beyond the adjacent edge of the board member 92 so that marbles dropped through the opening 106 'can be manually picked out of the container 168.
Referring to FIGURES l and 13, inclusive, the game of this invention is played by placing the home plate unit and the playing field assembly 12 on the floor or other playing surface so that the playing field assembly 12 is generally upright and is inclined upwardly and rearwardly with the open sides of the pockets 66, 68, 70, 72, 74, 76, 78 and 81? facing the open sides of the home plate sections 30, 32 and 34. In one embodiment of the invention, the home plate unit 10 is about 18 inches square, the playing field assembly 12 is about 3 feet square, and the home plate unit 11) is positioned so that it is about 8 to 10 feet from the playing field assembly 12. For purposes of clarity, two players are illustrated in FIGURES 10 .to 13 and indicated generally at 110 and 112, although it is to be understood that more players can take part if desired. The players 110 and 112 take turns batting,
as in a regular baseball game, with each player being entitled to three outs in each inning, and normally nine innings are played, but the number of innings can be reduced if desired.
In FIGURES 10 to 13, player 110 is at bat and player 112 is on defense. Player 112 positions himself between the home plate unit 10 and the playing field assembly 12 and pitches the ball 14 by rolling it on the playing surface toward the home plate unit 10. In the event the ball 14 rolls up the lip into either section 30 or section 34, the pitch is a ball and the ball 14 is merely returned to player 112. In the even-t the ball 14 is pitched so that it rolls onto the home plate section 32, player 110 strikes the pad '54 on the handle portion 52 with the edge of the bat 16 as shown in FIGURE 11, so that the strike plate 46 is quickly swung upwardly about the pivot 51) to propel the ball 14 upwardly. Before the ball 14 falls to the ground, player 110 attempts to bat the ball 14 with the bat 16. He strikes the ball with the resilient cover 86 on one side of the bat 16 so that the ball 14 is propelled in the direction of the playing field assembly 12 as illustrated in FIGURE 12. Player 112 defends the playing field assembly 12 by manipulating his glove 18 in an attempt to catch the ball 14 in the net 88. The player 112 is illustrated in FIGURES 11 and 12 in positions attempting to catch the ball 14 in the net 88. If the ball 14 is caught it counts as an out against the player 110. If player 110 is unable to hit the ball 14 or if player 112 deflects the ball 14 so that it does not strike the playing tfield assembly 12, it is a strike on player 110. In the event the player 112 misses the ball 14 as illustrated in FIGURE 13, so that the ball 14 lights in one of the pockets 66, 68, 79, 72, 74, 76, 78 or 31} on the playing 4 field assembly 12, the player 11% is credited with a hit of the type corresponding to the indicia on the pocket in which the ball 14 res-ts. As shown in FIGURE 13, player has hit the ball 14 into pocket 66 so that he is credited with a home run.
The marbles 1641 are manipulated on the playing field 162 formed on the scoreboard assembly 20 so as to keep track of the hits and runs scored by the player at bat. In response to the home run bit by the player 116, the marble is simply dropped through home plate opening 106 into the container 103. If player 110 hit a single by batting the ball 14 into either of the pockets 72, 74, 76 or 80, a marble 1110 would be placed in the opening 104 corresponding to first base and this marble would be moved into subsequent openings 104 and finally into the home plate opening 106 in response to further hits in that inning by the player 110. At the end of an inning, the number of runs scored by a player is readily determined by counting the number of marbles in the container 108.
It is to be understood that while the game of this invention has been described with respect to a preferred embodiment thereof, it is not to be so limited since changes and modifications can be made therein within the scope of the appended claims.
From the above description it is seen that this invention provides a baseball game which can be played indoors in a relatively small space and which encourages the development of the physical skill of the players. The home plate unit 10 can be provided with more strike sections and more or less ball sections 36 and 34, if desired, but the illustrated construction is preferred because it encourages accurate pitching. The playing field assembly 12 can also be constructed differently so as to vary the location and arrangement of the pockets 66, 68, 70, 72, 74, 76, 78 and 81). However, the illustrated construction is preferred because of its simplicity and economy of construction and the fact that a ball 14 hits the assembly 12 it is almost certain to be retained in a pocket.
1. A baseball game comprising a home plate unit having ball and strike portions, a ball adapted to be pitched onto said portions, a playing field assembly spaced horizontally from said home plate unit, said playing field assembly including a plurality of pockets corresponding to selected baseball hits, each of said pockets having an open side of a size larger than said ball member so that said ball member can fall into said pocket, and movable means operatively associated with said strike portion for propelling said ball upwardly when it is positioned thereon so that said ball can be batted in the direction of said playing field assembly.
2. A baseball game comprising a home plate unit having ball and strike portions, a ball adapted to be pitched onto said portions, means operatively associated with said strike portion for propelling said ball upwardly when it is positioned thereon, a playing field assembly positioned a distance from said home plate unit such that when said ball has been propelled upwardly from said strike portion it can be batted onto said playing field assembly, said playing field assembly including a plurality of open sided pockets facing generally in the direction of said home plate unit and corresponding to selected baseball hits, and a bat member operable to actuate said ball propelling means and to bat said ball in the direction of said playing field assembly.
3. In a baseball game, a home plate unit comprising a base, upstanding partitions on said base dividing the base into ball and strike portions, :1 pivoted plate positioned at the bottom of said strike portion, and a handle attached to said plate and movable to swing said strike plate upwardly.
4. A baseball game comprising a home plate unit having a downwardly and forwardly inclined base having upright partitions dividing it into downwardly and forwardly inclined side by side sections which are open at their front ends, a ball adapted to be pitched through the open end of one of said sections to a position disposed in said section, a plate pivotally supported in said one section for propelling said ball upwardly when it is in said section, and a playing field assembly spaced horizontally from said home plate unit and including a plurality of open sided pockets corresponding to selected baseball hits, each pocket being of a size such that said ball member can be received therein.
5. A baseball game comprising a home plate unit having ball and strike portions, a ball adapted to be pitched onto said portions, movable means operatively associated with said strike portion for propelling a ball thereon upwardly, a playing field assembly spaced horizontally from said home plate unit, said assembly comprising a frame inclined upwardly and rearwardly in a direction away from said home plate unit, and means on said frame providing a plurality of open sided pockets facing generally in the direction of said home plate unit and corresponding to selected baseball hits.
6. In a baseball game, a home plate unit comprising a base assembly having a front end and a rear end and arranged in a downwardly and forwardly inclined position, upstanding partitions on said base assembly dividing the base into ball and strike portions including a central strike portion having an open front side, a plate positioned at the bottom of said central portion and pivoted on said base assembly, and a handle attached to said plate and movable generally downwardly to swing said strike plate upwardly.
References ited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 856,216 Black June 11, 1907 1,341,628 Bourne June 1, 1920 1,668,389 Vigneron May 1, 1928 1,687,033 Nelson Oct. 9, 1928 1,942,429 Jacobs Jan. 9, 1934 2,220,492 Piesco Nov. 5, 1940 2,412,714 Ceasar Dec. 17, 1946 2,482,083 Whitehall Sept. 13, 1949 2,672,343 Augier Mar. 16, 1954 2,805,070 Waters Sept. 3, 1957