US 3392976 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
july 16, 1968 r HAYES 3,392,976
ADJUSTABLE BASEBALL BAT Filed oct. 2s, 196s -United States Patent O 3,392,976 ADJUSTABLE BASEBALL BAT Thomas Hayes, 25 E. 21st St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11232 Filed Oct. 23, 1965, Ser. No. 503,058 Claims. (Cl. 273-72) This inventionV relates to an adjustable baseball bat, and more particularly toa weighted baseball bat for practice or exercise which can -be adjusted to selectively change its center of gravity.
When playing baseball, just before a player comes up to bat, and while the preceding player is in the batters box, the next batter customarily stands in the on deck circle, in accordance with the rules of baseball. While in this on deck circle, the player may desire to loosen up and iex his muscles. During ysuch practice swinging, the player may swing two or three baseball bats, which may `linclude a weighted bat, so that, when the player is ready to take his place in the batters box with only one bat immediately after practicing with heavier bats, the batter can swing the single lighter bat more easily and with better control. Instead of using two -or three bats, the player may use a lsingle weighted bat containing a -stationary lead insert. i
However, different players have different requirements, depending upon the size and strength of a particular player or his needs at -a particular time. It is not convenient to provide a number of different leaded or weighted pracltice bats having different weights or different centers of gravity.
It is therefore desirable to provide a single weighted bat that is exible enough to serve the needs of a number of players having diiferent requirements.
Since the weighted bat serves to flex and exercise the muscles of a player as a function of inertia, it has been found that even if the weight of t-he bat remains the same, the :amount of force necessary to ,swing the -bat and overcome inertia will vary as a function of the distance of the center of gravity of the bat from the handle of the bat.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a baseball bat whose center of gravity can be longitudinally adjusted in a simple manner.
It is a further object ofwthis invention to provide a baseball bat which is simple and economical to manufacture, which has a minimum number of separate parts, and whose center of gravity can be quickly and selectively changed with the use of few of or no tools.
To these ends, and in accordance with the concepts of the invention, a baseball bat of standard length having a handle portion and a ball-striking portion is divided into two separate parts. Each of the parts is provided with a lrespective intercommunicating inner blind-end longitudinal cavity or bore. An elongated weight, such as a steel or lead pipe, which is shorter than the combined length of the two cavities, Ihas its opposite ends extending into these cavities. The ball striking portion of the baseball bat is provided with a plurality of longitudinally spaced transverse holes extending radially from the cavity through the ball-striking portion of the bat. Fastening means, such as a through bolt and wing nut, or a spring-biased plug, adjustably fastens the elongated weight in a particular location by extending through or into selected transverse holes in the separate sections of the bat.
3,392,976 Patented July 16, 1968 The foregoing and other objects, advantages and features of my invention, these features being set forth with particularity -in the claims annexed hereto, will be apparent `from and will be mentioned in the following description in conjunction with preferred embodiments according to the invention illustrated by way of example in the laccompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a longitudinal sectional view illustrating one embodiment of the invention in assembled form;
FIG. 2 is another longitudinal sectional view of the adjustable baseball bat illustrated in FIG. l shown in an intermediate position during readjustment of the location of the weight within the bat;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged longitudinal sectional view of a portion of another embodiment of the invention; and
FIGI. 4 is a transverse sectional view in a further enlarged scale taken along the plan of line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
The same reference numerals are used to designate the isame parts throughout the several views.
In FIGS. 1 and 2 the weighted baseball -bat designated generally by the numeral 10 comprises a handle portion 12 with a butt end 14, and a ball-striking portion 16 of larger diameter than the handle portion 12. The ballstriking portion 16 is divided into two longitudinal parts 18 and 20, the part 20 being attached to the handle porltion 12. The bat 10 may be constructed of the usual hard wood, such as ash or hickory or if desired may be formed of suitable synthetic plastic materials such as polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, or the like.
Coaxial with the longitudinal axis of the bat 10, in the respective parts 18 and 20, are two aligned bores or cavities 22, 24 deiining respective blind ends 26, 28. A plurality of longitudinally-spaced transverse holes 28 are located in bat portion 18, and a plurality of similarly spaced holes 29 are located in the bat parts 18 and 20 respectively. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2 the fholes 28 and 29 are each through-holes extending completely across the cross-sectional diameter of the bat part 18 or 20. Each through-hole 28, 29 is provided with an enlarged or countersunk portion 30, 32 lat each outermost end of the hole having a diameter greater than the diameter of intermediate portion of holes 28 or 29. The portion of enlarged diameter 30, at one end of the holes 28, 29 accommodate the bolt head 34 of the bolt 38, and the enlarged portions 32 accommodate wing nuts 36, which engage the threaded ends of the bolts 38.
An elongated weight 40, preferably in the form of a cylinder or tubular metal pipe, such as of steel cast-iron or lead, and having an overall length less than the combined lengths of the cylindrical portions of the bores of cavities 22 and 24, is arranged with its opposite ends 42 and 44 nesting respectively within one of the cavities 22, 24. The weight 40 is provided with two through-holes 46 and 48, one hole near each end of the weight 40. The distance between the holes 46 and 48, 4measured longitudinally along the axis of weight 48, is an integral multiple of the distance between the consecutively adjacent spaced holes 28 and 29, which are preferably spaced an equal distance apart along the ball-striking parts 18 and 20.
AS best illustrated in FIG. 2, in order to shift the center of gravity of the bat further away from the butt end 14 as compared to the position of weight 40 shown in FIG. 1, the wing nut 36 is loosened from the particular bolt 38 which passes through ball-striking portion aaaa, 976
2t) and through hole 48 of the weight 40. This particular bolt is then removed, the entire bat part 20 is displaced axially along the weight 48 to the desired position, and the bolt 38 is dropped through another of the holes 29 in the bat part 20 and again dropped through the same hole 48, and the wing nut 36 again fastened on the same bolt 38, thus securing the bat part 20 again to the righthand end of the weight 4t) but at a different longitudinal location. Similarly, the other wing nut 36 on the bolt 38 which passes through bat portion 18 and through hole 46 of Weight 40 is then removed, the left-hand -bolt 38 is withdrawn, the bat part 18 is slid axially to the right until the bat parts 18 and 20 abut against each other, and the lefthand bolt 38 is again dropped into place through another of the holes 28 in the bat part 18 and aligned with the same hole 46 in the weight 40. The wing nut 36 is then again tightened on the left bolt 38 to secure the bat part 18 to the left end of the Weight 40.
In the embodiment according to FIGS. 3 and 4, the respective bat portions 118 and 120 are provided with cavities 122 and 124. Holes 128 and 129 are provided which pass radially from the inner cavity 122, 124 only through one wall of the respective bat parts 118 or 120. Near the respective ends 142 and 144 of the weight 140 are provided respective plugs 150 and 152, which are movable in a radial and transverse direction relative to the longitudinal axis of the bat. The plug 158 engages into one of the respective holes 128, and the plug 152 engages into a respective hole 129. As best shown in FIG. 4, the plug or pin 150 is attached to a disc 154, which is retained in a cylindrical insert 156 within a transverse `hole 158 in the pipe or weight 140. The cylindrical insert 156 has male threads 160 at its upper end to engage corresponding female threads 160 in the upper end of the hole 158. The insert 156 is formed in the shape of a cup having a flat retainer top 162 to limit the outer radial movement of disc 154, and is provided with a central opening 164 for passage of the pin or plug 150 therethrough.
A compression spring 166 is provided within the cylindrical insert 156 to bias the disc an-d plug 154, 15) outwardly; and a retainer disc 168, having a notch 170 for rotation by a screwdriver, is threaded by means of matching threads 172 into the other end of the insert 156, on the end away from the plug 150.
The above-described view of FIG. 4 corresponds to the modification of the retainer plug 150 shown at the left end of the weight 140 of FIG. 3. If desired, instead of drilling the hole 150 only partially into the upper wall of the pipe 140 as shown in FIG. 4, another modification of the plug and insert may be employed, as shown at the right end of pipe 140.
In this modification, the hole 258 and the threaded hole 260 coaxial therewith may be made to extend jointly completely through the pipe 240. Instead of the insert being cup-shaped as in FIG. 4, it may be in the shape of a hollow cylinder 256, with a laterally protruding detent 262 to retain the plug 252 and its disc 254 from being pressed radially outwardly by compression spring 266. Of course, either of 4the plug devi-ces 150, 156 or 252, 256 may be used in the positions of the holes 158, 160 or 258, 260 of the pipe 140.
The device of FIGS. 3 and 4 operates as follows. If the weight 140 is to be shifted to the right relative to FIG. 3 and relative to both bat portions 180 and 120, `an elongated tool, such as a screwdriver, is inserted in the direction of arrow A into the hole 128 in which the plug 150 is located, to radially push in the plug 150. When the plug 150 clears the outer peripheral surface 174 of the cavity 122, the bat part 118 is then axially shifted in the desired direction, in this case toward the left relative to FIG. 3, until the outwardly biased plug 150 engages the next transverse hole 128. If it is desired to skip one or more of the intermediate holes 128, the bat portion 118 is turned about its longitudinal axis, so that the plug 150 rides lagainst the surface 174 during longitudinal relative movement of the bat portion 118 and pipe 140, until the plug 150 is aligned in the same plane with the particular desired hole 128, and the bat portion 118 is then rotated back about its axis until the plug 150 finds its place in the desired particular hole 128. The tool is then inserted along the arrow B to similarly press the plug 152 down below the surface 174 of the cavity 122, 124, and the bat portion is similarly shifted axially until it abuts against the bat portion 118 and the plug 152 engages another hole 129.
One of the advantagesyof the invention is that the device is made in separate pieces so that it can be readily disassembled into parts which can fit into a conventional carrying `bag for sports equipment so as to be conveniently carried, and so that it can be removed from the bag and quickly and easily assembled for use wherever and whenever desired.
A latitude of modification, substitution and change is intended in the foregoing disclosure, and in some instances some of the features of the invention will be employed without a corresponding use of other features. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the spirit and scope of the present invention.
1. An adjustable baseball bat comprising a handle portion and a ball-striking portion, said ball-striking portion being divided into a first separate part and a second part, the latter part being attached to said handle portion, each of said parts having elongated cavities therein, elongated weight means having opposed ends extending into respective ones of said cavities, the overall length of sai-d weight means being less than the combined length of said cavities, said Iball-striking portion and s-aid Weight means having a plurality of transverse holes therein, and fastening means for adjustably securing said weight means at a particular location in said cavities, said fastening means extending into selected ones of said transverse holes for selectively determining the center of gravity of sai-d bat.
2. An adjustable baseball bat comprising two parts each having cylindrical blind-end cavities therein, elongated cylindrical weight means having opposed ends extending into respective ones of said cavities, the overall length of said weight means -being less than the combined length of said cavities, said parts and said weight means having a plurality of transverse longitudinally spaced holes therein, and fastening means for adjustably securing said weight means to said parts at a particular location in said cavities, said fastening means extending into selected ones of said transverse holes for selectively determining the center 'of gravity of said bat.
3. An adjustable baseball bat comprising a handle portion and a ball-striking portion, said ball-striking portion being divided into a iirst separate part and a second part, the latter part Ibeing attached to said handle portion, each of said parts having elongated blind-en-d cavities therein, elongated weight means having opposed ends extending into respective ones yof said cavities, the overall length of said weight means being less than the combined length of said cavities, said ball-striking portion and said weigh-t means having a plurality of transverse holes therein, and fastening means for adjustably securing said weight means to said parts at a particular location in said cavities, said fastening means extending through said weight means and into selected ones of said transverse holes for selectively determining the center of gravity of said bat.
4. An adjustable baseball Ibat according to claim 3, said fastening means comprising anut and a through-bolt having a head, said transverse holes having an enlarged diameter along the outermost portion thereof to accommodate said nut and said bolt head in respective ones of said holes within the transverse cross section of said ballstriking portion.
5. An adjustable baseball -bat comprising a handle portion and a ball-striking portion, said ball-striking portion being divided into a first separate part and a second part, the latter part being attached to said handle portion, each of said parts having elongated blind-end cavities therein, elongated weight Imeans having opposed ends extending into respective ones of said cavities, the overall length of said weight means Ibeing less than the combine-d length of said cavities, said ball-striking portion having a plurality of transverse longitudinally spaced holes therein, and
fastening means for adjustably securing said weight means 10 to said parts at a particular location in said cavities, said fastening means extending into selected ones of said transverse holes for selectively determining the center of gravity of said bat, said fastening means including a plurality of transverse plugs located in s-aid Weight means, said plugs each having an outer end with a diameter smaller than the diameter of the radially innermost portion of a References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,028,291 1/ 1936y MacPherson. 2,051,083 8/1936 Hart 273-81 FOREIGN PATENTS 407,983 3/1934 Great Britain.
ANTON O. OECHSLE, Primary Examiner.
15 R. J. APLEY, Assistant Examiner.