US 3213842 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1965 E. A. LANEY 3,213,842
BALL PITCHING MACHINE WITH RECOIL CUSHIONING BRAKE MEANS Filed Aug. 2, 1961 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 flkim a W a if M 46 X2 [5 I 1 1/ c a INVENTOR.
: EDMUND ALA/VEY BY 5- A. LANEY Oct. 26, 1965 .BALL PITCHING MACHINE WITH RECOIL CUSHIONING BRAKE MEANS Filed Aug. 2, 1961 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 J T l m PIE E. A. LANEY Oct. 26, 1965 BALL PITCHING MACHINE WITH RECOIL CUSHIONING BRAKE MEANS Filed Aug. 2, 1961 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR. EDMUND A. LANE) United States Patent BALL PITCHING MACHINE WITH RECOIL CUSHIONING BRAKE MEANS Edmund A. Laney, Redondo Beach, Calif., assignor, by
mesne assignments, to P. C. Parfitt, D. Lee Batten, and John Dixon Filed Aug. 2, 1961, Ser. No. 128,744
7 Claims. (Cl. 1247) This invention relates to a portable mechanical device for pitching successive balls or similar objects in a predetermined and variably set path such as may be useful to a batter for practice in hitting baseballs. Such device may likewise be used in trap shooting, or to throw tennis balls or other articles which it is desired for a player to hit or respond to in one way or another.
Ball pitching machines which operated in various ways have been known, but a particularly objectional feature of their operation has been the auto-variability of the trajectory followed by successive balls, even when the latter are identical in shape, size and weight. Thus with portable pitching deviceswhich it is desirable frequently to move to and from a playing field or from one playing location to another for short periods of use in contrast to such a mechanism permanently anchored at one spota notable defect has been that the backlash from each pitch so jars or moves the machine from its original or previous setting that the desired anticipation of each ball similarly being delivered over the home plate may be virtually destroyed. One result of this is that the pitched ball may hit the batter rather than vice versa.
Now, by the present construction, the shock of each recoil is absorbed by an automatic braking mechanism which enables the device to continue pitching balls in the narrow space corridors for which it is originally set, without appreciable lateral deviation. In addition, my device may be adjusted to produce a high ball or a low ball, which still goes over the home plate-that is, the height of delivery can be changed without afiecting the right or left deviation. Further, the speed of the ball can be varied by adjustment of the machine, specifically by altering the balancing force which must be overcome to release the pitching arm on each throw. Such controls can be changed between each pitched ball, if desired, or they can remain at the same setting for successive throws. Other features include a ball cradle and automatic feed means to place successive balls in the rotating arm after each throw.
Accordingly it is an object of the invention to embody such features and advantages in a comparatively light weight or portable device of relatively simple and inexpensive construction, which is of long life and highly effective in operation as well as consistently predictable in repetitive action.
Other objects and advantages will become apparent as the description proceeds, having reference to the presently preferred embodiment of the invention particularly illustrated in the accompanying drawing wherein FIG. 1 is a perspective view of my ball pitching machine, showing the rotary throwing arm, after having picked up a ball from the supply chute (while swinging thru the phantom position), the arm being now located at its stationary or coil-winding position;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the machine with the housing removed and the throwing arm in ball-receiving position, but with the inner mechanism at coil-winding position, some structure being broken away or shown in section;
FIG. 3 is a transverse, vertical sectional view taken thru the operating mechanism along the line 33 of FIG- URE 2, with some structure shown in elevation;
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal, vertical sectional view thru the machine as viewed along the line 44 of FIGURE 2, particularly showing in elevation the trigger mechanism which holds one end of the coil while it is wound from the opposite end;
FIG. 5 is a corresponding vertical sectional view looking in the opposite direction along the line 55 of FIG- URE 2, particularly showing the gear train from the electric motor to its connection to the winding end of the coil spring, with a central portion broken away;
FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of the ball-throwing cradle with the adjacent supporting end of the rotary throwing arm shown in axial section;
FIG. 7 is a fragmental vertical axial sectional view thru the ball supply chute, particularly showing the attachment of the pick-up enclosure to the delivery end of the chute, as viewed along the line 77 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 8 is a side elevational view, partly in section, of a detachable rack which may be added to the right end of the ball delivery chute as seen in FIG. 1, the rack being particularly adapted to handle tennis balls; and
FIG. 9 is a transverse sectional view thru the rack taken along the line 9-9 of FIGURE 8.
In the illustrated portable form of ball pitching machine which embodies the invention, there is provided a supporting frame 10 assembled typically of L-shaped angle irons, plus tubular struts or rods suitably interconnected, as by spot welding and/or bolts. A parallel pair of generally inverted, U-shaped tubes or bars 12, 14 provide four legs for ground contact, being joined together by front and rear cross braces 16, 18. The medial, horizontal spans 13, 15 of the inverted Us support and are held together by a rectangular, opencenter skeletal tray or platform formed of angle irons having their respective upright ends joined together at right angles, with the whole afiixed to the underframe as by being bolted to four, inward projecting, horizontal tabs 22, 23, 24, carried by the level tops of the inverted U-rods 13, 15. Within the rectangular platform 20 thus anchored, there is disposed an intermediate, longitudinal angle iron 26, terminally secured by bolts 27, 28 to the respective cross ends 19, 21 of the platform.
The upper framework of the machine is completed by a parallel pair of rearward, rangularly upstanding tubes or rods 30, 32 secured to the U-rods 1'2, 14 by tubular attachment collars 3'1, .33, and serving to support adjacent their raised ends a transversely directed, ball supply channel 35 disposed at a small inclination from the horizontal. A semi-annular hood or housing shell 38 may !be provided to descendingly cover the platform 20 and thus enclose the operating mechanism FIG. 1), the shell being formed with .a downward opening, central vertical slot 39 along one side for mounting over the laterally projecting hub 40 of the adjacent throwing arm, so that the cover can thus remain in place during operation of the machine and .guard a passer-by raga-inst accidental cont act therewith.
Immediately adjacent the inner, vertical face of each longitudinal L nai'l 1'1, 17 of the platform v20 is secured an upstanding, fiat sided, mutual-1y parallel, bearing plate 42, 44 (FIG. 2), transversely aligned along the central cross-axis of the platform, but of unequal area and height, the plate 44 alongside the throwing arm being the larger and higher (FIGS. 3-4).
With its opposite ends journalled respectively in the smaller bear-ing plate 42 and in upstanding arm 29 of the longitudinal nail '26, there is a generally horizontal, transversely disposed drive shaft 46 upon which is fixedly secured a vertical wheel 48, formed with a peripheral groove in which is received a V-belt 50 for transmitting power from a suitable motive source such as the electric motor 52. A pair of vertical plates or hangers are fixedly mounted on the cross-bracket 18 and jointly suspend a horizontal cross rod '57 (FIG. 4) from which the motor 52 hangs freely by means of a pair of suspension rings '53, 54. The drive belt 50 when operatively mounted is of lesser span than the maximum distance between the drive wheel 48 of the frame and the drive shaft 51 of the motor if the latter hung vertically, so that the motor must be swung inward upon the pair of suspension rings 53-, 54 for connection with the drive belt. Accordingly, the weight of the thus angula-rly hanging motor continually tensions the drive belt 50 to keep it taut.
Also fixedly mounted on the drive shaft 46 of the frame is a pintle gear '56 disposed in driving engagement with an upper cog wheel 58, which latter is fixedly carried on a horizontal, tubular shaft 60. A transverse, cylindrical rod or axle 62 is fixedly disposed generally horizontally between and traversing the two upright bearing plates 42, 44 near their upper margins, being held in the former by a vertical set screw 64. The tubular shaft 60 is rotatably mounted about a length of the fixed shaft adjacent the upright bearing plate 42, while disposed in end abutment with its inner end 63 (FIG. 3) and rotatably carried by the adjacent length of the axle 62 is a coaxial, tubular shaft 68 of a corresponding radial dimension. Secured to the outer end of the tube 68 as by a radial disk or web 70 is an outer cylindrical, open-end tube or housing 72 which is journalled in an annular, ball-bearing raceway 66 of the mounting plate 44. An annular brake band 74 is disposed about the cylindrical housing 72 adjacent the inner edge of the raceway. Diametrically traversing the projecting hub 40 of the housing tube 72 is a longitudinal throwing arm '76 detachably coupled thereto by a transverse bolt 78 and consequently rotatable in unison with the coaxial housing 72 and tubular shaft 68.
A coil spring 80 is coaxially disposed about the fixed axle 62 and about the adjoining ends of the rotatable shafts 60 and 68. In effect, the opposite ends of the coil are attached (indirectly) to the respective shafts 60 and 68 so as to provide an intermittent-acting drive means be tween the cog wheel 58 and the rotatable housing 72 with its throwing arm 76. The cog wheel 58 may conveniently be made of wood with a cog-carrying annulus 59 secured about the periphery, and a vertical, reinforcing metal plate 65 centrally affixed thereto as by a pair of transverse bolts 61, (FIG.
Disposed somewhat radially inward between the pair of plate-holding bolts 61, is a transverse, anchoring bolt 82 about the inner end of which is wound one end 83 of the spring 80, while diametrically disposed from the bolt 82, the first loop of the coil 80 is additionally secured to the wooden face of the cog wheel 58 by a hold-down bracket 84. Thus it will be seen that by comparatively slow rotation of the cog wheel 58 (thru the gear train 48, 56, 58 which reduces the effective speed of the electric motor 52), the coil spring 80 is slowly wound or tightened from its end 82 whenever its opposite end is held stationary. Accordingly, the opposite end 85 of the coil spring is attached (FIG. 4) to a flat-sided, diametrically disposed trigger arm or plate 86 (which in turn is fixedly carried on the rotatable shaft 68) by means of bolt 88 and hold-down bracket 89- similar to the attachinent of the previous end of the coil.
Adjustable trigger means are provided for intermittent-e ly restraining the plate 86 While the coil 80 is being tightened-to a predetermined tension by action of the cog wheel 58. Tnansversely disposed adjacent an outer end of the arm 86 is a freely rotatable annulus 90 having an outer surface of elastomeric material disposed, when at a stop position of the rotary arm '86, to fricti-onally engage the outer end of a generally cylindrically projecting detent member 92, which is longitudinally extensible from a housing structure '94 secured against the inner face of the larger vertical bracket plate 44. Within the cylindrical portion of the housing .is disposed a .coil spring 4 96, one end of which is in frictional registration with the inner surface of the projecting detent 92, while the opposite end bears against .a rearward projecting, tightening screw 98 threadedly mounted in the housing wall. Accordingly, by manual rotation of the screw 98, the force with which the detent 9 2 yieldingly engages the stop merit ber 90 is readily adjustable, thus varying the discharge force or tension accumulated by winding 01' tightening the spring 80. The result is control of the projecting force embodied in each throw of the pitching arm 76. In other words, by such means the machine can be set to pitch a fast ball or a slow ball, as a result of the greater or less tension accumulated by the coil spring before it overba-la-nces the frictional holding force between the trigger and detent 92, which holding force is var= iable by adjustment of the tightening screw 98.
Supported atop the outer lengths of the arms 30, 32 to which it is connected by four screws 36 (FIG. 2) is a longitudinally slanted, open-top supply channel or chute *35 usually wide enough to accommodate only a single row of balls and terminating in a three-sided, rectangular, pick-up enclosure 100 formed with open top, bottom and front areas. A supporting frame of the pick-up enclosure 100 can conveniently be bent from a single length of wire 201. The respective upper and lower margins of an upright Wall member .1011 (typically consisting of sheet metal) are oppositely wrapped around the vertically separated stretches of wire, and the unit is attached to the rear face of the chute as by connection of the wire ends or eyelets with screws 102 (FIGS. 2 and 7). The width of the open bottom and front of the enclosure is a little less than the diameter of a ball 99 so as to prevent the latter from dropping or rolling out in any direction by itself. However it can be lifted out of the open top, as by the grooved tongue 104 of an up-swinging ball cradle 105 carried on the outer end of the rotatable throwing arm 76. AS the cradle 105 moves up (upon return swing of the throwing arm after discharging or hurling a previous ball), the projecting tongue lifts the terminal ball from the enclosure 100 at the position 99a (FIG. 2) and the picked-up ball immediately rolls down the short length of the moving tongue .104 into the socket position 99b, at which point it is loosely overlaid by a progressively converging pair of short, inwardly curved wings 106, 1107. As the arm 76 moves on to the stop position of FIG. 1, it is there retained (holding its loosely cradled ball) by the trigger 92 while the coil spring '80 is wound up, as previously described. Up on trigger release of the coil 80 and attached throwing arm 76, the ball 99 is hurled longitudinally from the cradle 105 after the rotating "arm has passed thru its zenith and started its downswing, the ball moving outward along the underface of the now-inverted tongue 104.
Provision is also made for varying the trajectory bf the ball thus cast, namely, by tilting the cradle '105 forward or back longitudinally in the plane of rotation of the arm 76. A flat-sided shank 108 of the ball cradle is pivotally secured to an axially projecting, terminal attachment tab 109 of the arm 76, by mean-s of a transverse pivot pin or screw 110 inserted thru one or the other of a pair of transverse openings 210 in the arm 76. Another transverse bolt '11'1 carrying a tightening or locking element [112 on one end, traverses both the shank 108 and the juxtaposed tab- 109 distally to the pivot 1 10. The cradle shank 108 is formed with an arcuate slot 113 permitting its limited sliding movement across the adjacent attachment tab 109 when traversed by the shaft of the bolt 1:11 (prior to tightening of the locking element 112), as indicated by the arrow FIG. '6. Typically the body of the throwing arm 76 is formed of light weight metal such as tubular aluminum, reinforced if desired by an inner wooden stem 77, the two being fastened together as by a screw and nut 79 adjacent an outer annular ltlange 75. Accordingly, by such tilting adjustment of the ball cradle l05-which corresponds to the ball pitchers ha-nd--either a high ball or a low ball is consistently delivered over the home plate. In addition (or independently), either 'a fast ball or a slow ball is produced by regulation of the tension accumulated by the drive coil 80 before its automatic trigger-discharge, as earlier described.
Consistent control of the speed (for fast and slow balls) and trajectory (for high and low balls) of each successive ball is highly desirable in a baseball pitching machine, but it is even more essential that every ball is de- Elivered within the same restricted area, that is, over the home plate rather than erratically to one side or the other thereof. As mentioned above, previous portable pitching machines, even when heavily weighted down were frequently displaced from their original ground alignment by the backlash of the rotating a-r'm. Thus one bail might be pitched directly over the plate and the next one arrive along such a line of iateral displacement as to be out of reach of the batter when veering in one direction, or alternately to hit the batter if displaced in the other direction. Now by the present automaticaily controlled braking action of each rotation of the throwing arm, even the :present comparatively light weight structure does not jump or move about on the ground or other surface on which it is merely stood without bolted down or otherwise anchored.
Present achievement of such result is by use of a brake band 74 secured about the inner end of the tubular housing 72 which housing is rotatable by the shaft 68. The brake band 74 has a spiral contact surface disposed in substantially continuous rotary or sliding engagement with a brake shoe in the form of an annulus 1'16 freely rotatable on a horizontal axle 118 which is bolted to the upright plate 44 as by the nut 120 (FIG. 2). The peripheral, mutually-engaging surface of both brake elements 74 and 116 are of slip-resistant material such as compounded elastomeric substance or other known material particularly adapted for brake lining. The spiral contact surface of the brake band 74 is mounted with its greatest radial thickness disposed to engage the annular brake shoe 116 at the holding position (FIG. 1) of the throwing arm 76 and shaft 68, at which stop position the coil spring 80 can be wound up by rotation of the drive shaft 60 connected to the spring at 83. Immediately adjacent (in the direction of rotation of the throwing arm) is the lowest engagement line of the spiral band, which corresponds to the position where the spring-urged detenttrigger 92 has suddenly released its grip on the roller 90, with the consequent result that the rapidly uncoiled spring 80 swings the arm 76 to catapult the ball 39. From the ball release position, the spiral or radial thickness of the brake band 74 is then progressively increased as it returns to the stop position, at which latter point the idler shaft 68 and arm 76 are additionally held by engagement between the detent-trigger 92 and the roller 90. This combined and cooperative action of the two pairs of braking units, namely, the spiral brake band 74 with the freely-rotatable annular brake shoe 116, and the spring-urged detent-trigger 92 with the freely-rotatable annulus 90 have been found highly effective (1) in cushioning the recoil from the sudden swing of the arm 76 which starts from a rest position and returns to a complete stop at the end of one revolution, and (2) in stopping and holding the throwing arm and associated structures at the end of each rotation so that the coil 80 can be tensioned for the next pitch. However, the holding force between the detent-trigger 92 and the roller 90 must always be greater than that which slowed but did not stop the rotating housing 72 by engagement between the spiral band 74 and the brake shoe 116.
Since tennis balls cannot readily be fed into a delivery chute from a tunnel or hopper (because of the tendency of their surface from mutual engagement), there is here provided a rack 122 (FIGS. 7, 8, 9) conveniently formed of sheet metal, for detachable coupling to the free end 6 of the channel 35 (FIG. 1). Fixedly suspended between a parallel pair of upstanding, channel-shaped end walls 124, 126 are three vertically spaced and aligned troughs 128, 130, 132 longitudinally tilted or slanted in varying d grees to form a continuous, criss-cross descending path. The several troughs are individually secured, as by spot welding of their sides, to the inturned edges of the respective end wall 124, 126. The lower end of the uppermost trough is formed with a bottom opening 134 of suificient size to allow a tennis ball to drop thru easily and strike a curved deflector 136 which is afiixed to the adjacent end wall 124. A similar end outlet 138 and dependently curved, deflector 140 are located adjacent the opposite end of the intermediate trough 130. At the same end of the rack, beneath the bottom trough 132 is an inwardly directed upturned clip or resilient engagement tab 143 terminally secured to the upright wall 126 and adapted to receive the floor 144 of the permanently mounted chute 35 slidingly inserted lengthwise between it and the undersurface of the trough 132, with the side walls 145, 146 of the chute then providing lateral support for the sides of the trough and positioning the rack as a whole. The end wall 124 which is innermost when thus mounted, is formed with a lower opening 148 which thus provides an outlet for balls leaving the trough 144 for the chute 35, ultimately arriving at the pick-up enclosure. Accordingly, by use of such rack 12.2 a comparatively large number of balls can be loaded at one time for successive individual pick-up by the cradle and throwing arm 76.
From the foregoing, the construction and operation of the device will be readily understood and further explanation is believed to be unnecessary. However, since numerous modifications and changes will readly occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction shown and described; and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as herein-after claimed.
1. In a mechanical pitching device having an arm rotatable for pitching individual balls and the like upon successive rotations thereof, the improvement comprising in combination therewith: a drive shaft having means for continuous rotation thereof; an idler shaft carrying a transversely disposed pitching arm; a coil spring having its opposite ends secured respectively to the idler shaft and to said drive shaft; independently variable detenttrigger means disposed selectively to hold the idler shaft during a period of rotation of said drive shaft thus permitting rotation of the latter to tension said spring, whereby subsequent release of said idler shaft causes the tensioned spring to rotate the pitching arm; and cooperating brake means comprising an annular brake shoe and a mutually-rotatingly-engaging spiral contact surface, one of which is carried by said idler shaft, and both of which are disposed jointly to progressively brake the idler shaft after each pitch of a ball and prior to its holding-engagement by said detent-trigger means,
2. In a mechanical pitching device having a rotatable shaft carrying a transversely disposed arm and means for pitching individual balls and the like by sudden rotation from a relatively stationary position, the improvement comprising in combination therewith: rotary brake means adapted to cushion the recoil from each pitch, said brake means comprising a peripherally spiral, contact band and a cooperating brake shoe, one of which is carried by said rotatable shaft and the other mounted on said pitching device for substantially continuous, mutual engagement, said peripherally spiral, contact band having its position of greatest radial extension and braking pressure corresponding to the stationary position of said shaft, and an immediately adjacent position of minimum radial extension and braking pressure corresponding generally to a ball-discharge position of said shaft, the spiral curvature of said band being progressively increased radially between said positions; and independently variable, detenttrigger means disposed selectively to apply a greater holding force to said shaft than that of said brake means.
3. A pitching device of the character described, comprising in combination: a portable frame having a pair of upstanding bearing support plates transversely spaced apart;
a tubular drive shaft and a tubular idler shaft, each independently rotatable and disposed generally endto-end in axial alignment about a fixed central axle which extends jointly through both shafts and is supported between the plates of said frame;
a radially enlarged, tubular housing fixedly secure-d to an end of said idler shaft and journalled in one of said bearing plates;
a tubular pitching arm diametrically projecting from said housing and having individual-ball-retaining means adjacent its outer end;
means adapted for effecting continuous rotation of said drive shaft;
a coil spring generally coaxial with said shafts and axle, and having opposite ends secured respectively to the idler shaft and to said drive shaft, whereby rotation of the latter acts to tension said spring when the idler shaft is held stationary;
automatic brake means disposed to retard rotation of the idler shaft after each pitch of a ball; and
independently variable, detent-trigger means disposed successively to apply a greater holding force to said shaft than that of said brake means, whereby the idler shaft after each pitch may be held against rotation while the coil spring is tightened and then released by said trigger, thereby to enable the intermittent unidirectionally moving pitching arm to throw successive balls in a predetermined and consistent trajectory.
4. The device of the preceding claim 3 wherein said pitching arm is rotatable in a generally vertical plane about the idler shaft and wherein said ball retaining means comprises a ball cradle having a generally longitudinally extending channel-shaped tongue projecting outward therefrom and a progressively constricted ball-socket formed by convergingly overlying, lateral wings disposed adjacent opposite sides of the inward end of said tongue, in which socket a ball may thus temporarily lodge upon rolling down said tongue, whereby upon upward arcuate movement of the arm starting from a trigger position anterior to zenith, a loosely cradled ball may be projected longitudinally outward from beneath the inverted tongue as the latter moves arcuately downward after passing thru zenith.
5. A pitching device of the character described, comprising in combination: a drive shaft and an idler shaft, each independently rotatable and disposed generally end to end in axial alignment; a transversely disposed pitching arm fixedly carried by said rotatable idler shaft, which idler shaft also carries a radially disposed arm having a detent surface disposed adjacent its outer end; means adapted for effecting continuous rotation of said drive shaft; a coil spring generally coaxial with said shafts and having opposite ends secured respectively to the idler shaft and to said drive shaft, whereby rotation of the latter acts to tension said spring when the idler shaft is held stationary; pressure-operable trigger means comprising a contact element disposed for yielding frictional engagement with the periphery of said band, said periphshaft may be held against rotation while the coil spring is tightened and then released by said trigger; adjustable tensioning means for varying the yielding pressure of said trigger, thereby regulating the tension accumulated by the coil spring before its trigger release which thereby effects sudden rotation of the idler shaft and attached pitching arm; and rotary brake means adapted to cushion recoil from the suddenly released coil spring, said brake means comprising a peripherally spiral, contact band disposed about said idler shaft, and a cooperating brake shoe disposed on the pitching device for substantially continuous engagement with the periphery of said band, said peripheral contact band having its position of greatest radial extension and braking pressure corresponding to the trigger-detent-engaging position of the idler arm, and an immediately adjacent position of minimum radial extension and braking pressure corresponding generally to a ball-discharge position of the arm, the spiral curvature of said band being progressively increased radially between said discharge and trigger-engaging positions.
6. The device of the preceding claim 5 wherein said pitching arm is rotatable in a generally vertical plane about the idler shaft and carries adjacent an outer end a ball cradle having a generally longitudinally extending, channel-shaped tongue projecting outward therefrom and a progressively constricted ball-socket formed by convergingly overlying lateral Wings disposed adjacent opposite sides of the inward end of said tongue, in which socket a ball may thus temporarily lodge upon rolling down said tongue, whereby upon upward arcuate movement of the arm starting from a trigger position anterior to Zenith, a loosely cradled ball may be projected longitudinally outward from beneath the inverted tongue as the latter moves arcuately downward after passing thru zenith.
7. In a mechanical pitching device having an arm rotatable in a generally vertical plane for pitching individual balls and the like upon successive rotations thereof, the improvement comprising in combination therewith: a ball cradle disposed adjacent an outer end of the pitching arm having a generally longitudinally disposed, channelshaped tongue extending therefrom for receiving and directing a ball rollingly into the cradle, and a progressively constricted ball-socket formed by convergingly overlying, lateral wings disposed adjacent opposite sides of the inward end of said tongue, in which socket a ball may thus temporarily lodge upon rolling down said tongue, whereby upon upward arcuate swing of the arm carrying a loosely cradled ball, the latter may be projected longitudinally outwardly from between said wings along the inverting tongue as by the rotation of the pitching arm, said tongue (when at rest) being adjustably tiltable relative to the longitudinal axis of said pitching arm, thereby varying the trajectory of a pitched ball.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,696,204 12/54 Gilgoff 1247 2,792,822 5/57 Ponza 1247 2,806,461 9/57 Giovagnoli 124-7 2,815,743 12/57 Brunderman 1247 2,877,757 3/59 Giovagnoli 1247 FOREIGN PATENTS 14,550/33 10/34 Australia.
DELBERT B. LOWE, Primary Examiner.