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Publication numberUS3254639 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 7, 1966
Filing dateMar 26, 1962
Priority dateMar 26, 1962
Publication numberUS 3254639 A, US 3254639A, US-A-3254639, US3254639 A, US3254639A
InventorsLaird Roy C
Original AssigneeLaird Roy C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ball-pitching machine
US 3254639 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 7, 1966 R. c. LAIRD BALL-PITCHING MACHINE Filed March 26, 1962 INVENTOR. Ray C Amen 6 $5M ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,254,639 BALL-PITCHING MACHINE Roy C. Laird, 1136 Ave. R-4, Palmdale, Calif. Filed Mar. 26, 1962, Ser. No. 182,351 7 Claims. (Cl. 124-7) This invention relates to a ball-pitching machine for use in batting practice to propel balls toward a batsman to be swung at by him.

An object of the present invention is to provide an efficient yet inexpensive and sturdy machine for propelling balls in an approximately fiat trajectory in simulation of a baseball pitchers delivery.

Another object of the invention is to provide a ballpitching machine of the character referred to that has simple means for regulating the trajectory and speed of propulsion as desired. 7

This invention also has for its objects to provide such means that are positive in operation, convenient in use, easily installed in a working position and easily disconnected therefrom, economical of manufacture, relatively simple, and of general superiority and serviceability.

The invention also comprises novel details of construc tion and novel combinations and arrangements of parts, which will more fully appear in the course of the following description and which is based on the accompanying drawing. However, said drawing merely shows, and the following description merely describes, one embodiment of the present invention, which is given by way of illustration or example only.

In the drawing, like reference characters designate similar parts in the several views.

FIG. 1 is a partly broken side elevational view of a ball-pitching machine according to the present invention and shown in cocked position preparatory to pitching a ball.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view showing said machine in the-process of pitching a ball.

FIG. 3 is a plan view with the support portions of the machine broken away.

The present machine comprises, generally, a support frame 5, two pairs of longitudinally spaced and aligned bearings 6 and 7 fixedly carried by said frame, a cocking arm 8 mounted in and between the pair of bearings 6, pedal means 9 mounted on the frame connected to the cocking arm 8 to cock the arm 8, a pitching arm 10 mounted in and between the pair of bearings 7 and adjustably carrying a ball holder 11, a torsion bar 12 connecting and extending between the arms 8 and 10 for storing energy in the pitching arm 10 by torsion of the bar 12 under power applied to the pedal means 9, and means 13 to releasably latch the pitching arm during such storing of energy in the latter arm.

The frame 5 is shown as a longitudinal top 15 supported off the ground by two pairs of angularly spread legs 16 that are connected near their lower ends by spreader bars 17 and are provided with suitable feet or pads 18. Said frame 5 is shown in exemplary form so the support 15 may have a steady position as supported by pads 18 on the ground 19a.

The bearings 6 and 7 may be of any suitable form either permanently aifixed to the frame top 15, as shown, or in the form of pillow blocks. As shown, said bearings are preferably disposed in alignment at or adjacent the front edge of said top 15.

The cocking arm 8 is provided with a hub 19 rotationally mounted in the bearings 6, and an arm extension 20 extending forwardly from said hub and disposed between the bearings 6. Said hub 19 is provided with a through broached hole 21 that is here shown as of square configuration to suit the square cross-sectional form of the torsion bar 12. Of course, any suitable polygonal or key-provided form of bar may be used with the hole 21 of conforming shape.

The pedal means. 9 is here shown as a pedal arm 22 pivotally carried by the forward spreader bar 17 and having a pedal end 23'that extends above and beyond the rear spreader bar 17, and a link 24 connecting the arm extension 20 and an intermediate point 25 of the pedal arm 22. Said point is nearer tothe pivot of the pedal arm than to the pedal end 23, thereby providing a considerable power advantage, that is imparted by stepping on said end 23, to the arm 8.

The pitching arm 10 is mounted in bearings 7 in substantially the same way as the arm 8 is mounted in bearings 6. The hub 26 of said arm 10 has an arm extension 27 extending oppositely to the arm extension 20 of the arm 6 when the broached hole 28 in said hub is aligned with the hole 21 in hub 19, i.e., when the torsion bar 12 is unstressed. Arm extension 27 is shown with a slot 29 along which the ball holder 11 is adjustable toward and from the axis of hub 26. The adjustment may be locked by a nut 30. v

The torsion bar 12 has its ends engagedin the broached holes 21 and 28 and, because of its length between the hubs, will twist, as indicated in FIG. 3, to store potential energy, when one arm is partially rotated relative to the other.

The means 13 releasably latches the pitching arm 10 when such energy is stored by depression of the pedal 23. Said means 13 is shown as a trip arm 31 swingable on a pivot 32 on a bracket 33 extending rearwardly from the frame top 15, a cross pin 34 on the end of said arm 31 to have overstanding engagement with the free end of arm extension 27, as in FIGS. 1 and 3, and a rearwardly extending handle 35 on said arm that, when depressed, draws the pin 34 rearwardly clear of the arm extension 27.

In operation, the arm extension 27 is latched by the release means 13, as in FIG. 1. As shown in said figure, the pedal means 9 is actuated by the foot and the torsion bar 12 is placed under tension, as in FIG. 3. Now, the handle 35 is depressed to cause quick release of the arm 10, thereby causing a ball B to be propelled from the holder 11, as in FIG. 2.

While the foregoing has illustrated and described what is now contemplated to be the best mode of carrying out the invention, the construction is, of course, subject to modification without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore, it is not desired to restrict the invention to the particular form of construction illustrated and described, but to cover all modifications that may fall within the scope of the appended claims.

Having thus described this invention, what is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters.Patent is:

1. A ball-pitching machine comprising (a) a longitudinal support,

(b) two bearing means, one at each end of the support,

(c) a torsion bar extending between said bearing means and having its end extending into the bearing means,

(d) an arm having a ball-supporting portion and rotationally mounted in one bearing means and having a fixed connection with the end of the torsion bar that extends into the latter bearing means,

(e) a trip latch to hold said arm while torsion is applied to said bar and for releasing said arm thereby releasing the potential energy in said torsion bar to swing the mentioned arm to pitch a ball that is on the mentioned portion thereof, and

(f) means to store such energy in said torsion bar.

2. A ball-pitching machine comprising (a) a longitudinal support,

Patented June 7, 1966 (b) two bearing means, one at each end of the support,

(c) a torsion bar extending between said bearing means and having its end extending into the bearing means,

((1) an arm having a ball-supporting portion and rotationally mounted in one bearing means and having a fixed connection with the end of the torsion bar that extends into the latter bearing means,

(e) a trip latch to hold said arm while torsion is applied to said bar and for releasing said arm thereby releasing the potential energy in said torsion bar to swing the mentioned arm to pitch a ball that is on the mentioned portion thereof,

(f) a cocking arm rotationally mounted in the other bearing means and having a fixed connection with the opposite end of the torsion bar, and

g) means to move said cocking arm to store energy in the torsion bar.

3. A ball-pitching machine comprising (a) a longitudinal support,

(b) two bearing means, one at each end of the support,

(c) a torsion bar extending between said bearing means and having its ends extending into the bearing means,

(d) an arm having a ball-supporting portion and rotationally mounted in one bearing means and having a fixed connection with the end of the torsion bar that extends into the latter bearing means,

(e) a trip latch to hold said arm while torsion is applied to said bar and for releasing said arm thereby releasing the potential energy in said torsion bar to swing the mentioned arm to pitch a ball that is on the mentioned portion thereof,

(f) a cocking arm rotationally mounted in the other bearing means and having a fixed connection with the opposite end of the torsion bar,

(g) a pedal connected to said support, and

(h) a link connecting the pedal and the cocking arm to store energy in the torsion bar upon depression of the pedal.

4. In a ball-pitching machine,

(a) longitudinally spaced aligned bearings,

(b) an arm for holding a ball and mounted to swing in one bearing,

(c) a cocking arm mounted to swing in the other bearing,

(d) a torsion bar extending between and fixedly connected respectively with said arms,

(e) a trip means to releasably hold said ball-holding arm while the bar is being placed under torsion, and

(f) means connected to said cocking arm to swing the same in its bearing to twist the torsion bar to energy-storing condition while the tripping means holds the ball-holding arm.

5. In a ball-pitching machine according to claim 4, a

ball holder on said pitching arm, and means to adjust said holder along said arm relative to the axis of the aligned bearings.

which the last-mentioned means is connected to the other end of the torsion bar.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,903,539 4/1933 Warner 273-95 2,963,016 12/1960 Andis 124-4 X 3,033,566 5/1962 Schmidt 27395 X FOREIGN PATENTS 2,426 1879 Great Britain.

RICHARD c. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.

JAMES W. LOVE, LOUIS R. PRINCE, Examiners.

W. R. BROWNE, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1903539 *Apr 1, 1930Apr 11, 1933Edward WarnerImplement for playing the game of cat
US2963016 *Jan 26, 1956Dec 6, 1960Andis Clipper CoCatapult type bait caster
US3033566 *Oct 17, 1960May 8, 1962Schmidt Henry WBall game device
GB187902426A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3420219 *Dec 13, 1965Jan 7, 1969Rahberger Edward JSpring-actuated target throwing device
US3470860 *Jun 10, 1966Oct 7, 1969Remington Arms Co IncTarget throwing trap
US3648678 *Apr 20, 1970Mar 14, 1972Luebkeman George CBaseball throwing device
US3951125 *Sep 23, 1974Apr 20, 1976Indian Head Inc.Football passer
US5439212 *Jan 27, 1994Aug 8, 1995Daniel L. HartBall pitching device
US7415976 *Feb 9, 2006Aug 26, 2008Powell Richard OPitching apparatus and method
WO1995020996A2 *Jan 26, 1995Aug 10, 1995Daniel L HartBall pitching device
Classifications
U.S. Classification124/7, 124/36, 124/41.1
International ClassificationA63B69/40
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/408
European ClassificationA63B69/40E4