US 3214166 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 26, 1965 M. H. GAUDET BALL GAME DEVICE Filed March 6, 1965 Marion h. Gaua'ef INVENTOR.
I M a Ammqw United States Patent 3,214,166 BALL GAME DEVICE Marion H. Gaudet, New Orleans, La., assignor to Traina Ball, Inc., New Qrleans, La., a corporation of Louisiana Filed Mar. 6, 1963, Ser. No. 263,266 Claims. (Cl. 273-26) The present invention is generally concerned with ball game devices, and is more particularly directed toward a device for increasing ones proficiency in .hitting a ball with a bat such as in the game of baseball.
While it is appreciated that the broad concept of providing a ball on one end of an elongated cord so as to effect a swinging of the ball toward a striking element is well known, such devices have generally been found unacceptable for use as a means for conducting baseball batting practice wherein a tremendous shock or tensile force is introduced into the control cable upon either a hitting of the ball with the bat or an accidental wrapping of the cord around the bat so as to pull the cord along with the bat during the completion of the swing. This force, in the previously known devices, being capable of causing substantial damage to the hand or arm of the person controlling the movement of the ball. Accordingly, it is one of the primary objects of the present invention to provide a device wherein a ball to be struck by a bat is secured to and controlled by an elongated cord with the over-all device incorporating novel safety features so as to absorb a maximum amount of the shock introduced by the batter.
In conjunction with the above object, by providing for the safe use of a cord controlled ball, it will be appreciated that both the space and time normally required for batting practice will be substantially reduced.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide a device which, in addition to constituting a practice device, will also be usable as a source of enjoyment.
Likewise, it is an object of the present invention to provide a device which in addition to being safe insofar as both the batter and swinger are concerned, also tends to eliminate any danger to the bystanders because of the almost complete elimination of any chance of the device being driven out of the hands of the swinger.
In connection with the above, it is an object of the present invention to utilize both a cord and a handle which include substantial shock absorbing features tending to compensate for any tensile stress introduced.
It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a ball swinging device wherein the handgrip portion is slidably mounted so as to insure a continuous proper orientation of the hand with the longitudinal axis of the cord.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a view illustrating the ball game device of the present invention and the manner of using the device;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the device with a portion of the cord being removed; and
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken substantially on a plane passing along line 3-3 in FIGURE 2.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings, reference numeral generally designates the ball game device comprising the present invention. This device consists essentially of an elongated flexible cord 12, a ball 14, and a handle 16.
The cord 12, while possibly being of any suitable elongated flexible material, is preferably of woven, twisted or knitted nylon strands. It is considered particularly desirable that the cord 12 be formed of a plurality of nylon strands so as to enable the cord 12 to elongate slightly upon the introduction of a tensile stress thereto, this tending to absorb the shock introduced by the ball 14 being struck by a batter 18.
A first end of the cord 12 is formed into a loop 20 with an inter-mediate portion of the loop 20 being positioned through a diametrical passageway 22 in the rubber ball 14 thus securing the ball 14 to the cord 12. it will of course be appreciated that the extreme end of the cord 12 at the loop 20 end is permanently tied, as indicated by reference numeral 24, so as to prevent any accidental opening of the loop 20 and release of the ball 14.
While not specifically limited thereto, it is preferred that the ball 14 be of a generally hard rubber, this use of hard rubber providing a further means for absorbing the shock from the bat while at the same time in no way detracting from the effectiveness of the device as a means for increasing batter proficiency.
The handle 16, formed at the second end of the cord 12, consists of a second cord loop 26, this second cord loop 26 being .formed by fixedly securing, as by tying, the extreme end of the cord to a portion of the cord 12 spaced inwardly thereof as indicated by reference numeral 28. It will of course be appreciated that the size of the loop 26 is such so as to allow for a comfortable positioning of the hand as illustrated in FIGURE 1. In addition to the loop 26, the handle 16 also includes an elongated piece of hollow tubing 30. This tubing, preferably of rubber and of the type normally used in conjunction with supplying water to washing machines, is to be shape-retaining while as the same time allowing for a resilient flexing thereof. The cord 12, in the formation of the loop .26, is to extend through the tubing 30 with this tubing 30 being flexed so as to form to the shape of the loop 20 upon a formation of the loop 26, the resiliency of the tubing 30 tending to maintain the handle in a generally ellipitical shape with a further flexing of the tubing 30 being possibe upon the introduction of a tensile force into the cord 12. In fact, it will be appreciated that a substantial shock absorbing effect is produced by the ability of the tubing 30 to, under normal conditions, maintain the handle 16 in an elliptical or pear shape while, upon the ball 14 being struck, allow ing for a substantial elongation of the handle 16 with only the transmission of a minimum stress to the hand and arm of the person 32 controlling the swinging of the device.
As will be appreciated from the drawings, the tubing 30 is shorter than that portion of the cord 12 forming the loop 26, this being considered particularly significant in that the tubing 30, which forms the handgrip portion, allows for a slipping of the loop 26 relative to the hand of the swinger 32 thus tending to constantly and automatically align the hand with the longitudinal axis of the cord for effecting a greater control of the movement of the ball 14 while at the same time eliminating any tendency for a rubbing or irritation of the hand by the cord.
The present invention also contemplates the utilization of a target 34 in conjunction with the swinging ball, the batter 18 normally positioning himself slightly to the rear of the target 34 and, as the ball 14 passes over the target 34, utilizing the relationship of the position of the ball 14 to the target 34 so as to properly direct his swing.
From the foregoing, it is believed to be readily apparent that a novel and extremely safe batting practice device has been defined, this device, though relatively simple in structure, incorporating three separate means for absorbing any shock introduced by a bat coming in contact with the ball portion of the device.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those 3 skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. A ball game device consisting of an elongated flexible cord, a first end of said cord having a ball secured thereto, a handle at the second end of the cord, said handle consisting of an enlarged closed loop formed from the second end of the cord, and means for resiliently maintaining said handle forming loop in a generally elliptical shape whereby force introduced into the cord will be absorbed by a flexing of the handle against the biasing of said means.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein said cord is longitudinally resilient so as to assist in the absorption of an introduced force.
3. The device of claim 1 wherein the means for resiliently maintaining said handle forming loop in a generally elliptical shape is in the form of a flexible, resilient handgrip, said handgrip being freely slidable on that portion of the cord forming the loop.
4. The device of claim 3 wherein said handgrip consists of a length of normally straight hollow shape-retaining tubing slightly shorter than that portion of the cord forming the loop, the cord portion of the loop being received through the hollow tubing, the forming of the l loop causing a resilient flexing of the tubing so as to conform to the shape of the loop, a further resilient flexing of the tubing being possible upon the introduction of a tensile force into the cord for the absorption of this tensile force.
5. A ball game device consisting of a single elongated flexible cord, a ball secured to a first end of said cord, the second end of said cord being formed into an en larged closed loop, and an elongated normally straight tube of flexible resilient rubber-like material slidably receiving that portion of the cord which forms the loop therethrough, said elongated tube retaining the loop in a generally wide elliptical shape, said tube, through the flexible resilient nature thereof, allowing an elongation of the loop generally along the line of the cord upon the introduction of a tensile force into the cord by striking the ball.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,186,016 1/40 Evans 273-58.5 X 2,590,951 4/52 Farison 272-28 References Cited by the Applicant UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,138,377 6/64 Stewart. 2,579,022 12/51 Spencer et al.
RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.