US 3525525 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 25, 1970 R. G. RIDEOUT TOY BASEBALL GAME 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 28, 1968 INVENTOR. RICHARD G. RIDEOUT ATTORNEYS Aug. 25, 1970 R. G. RIDEOUT TOY BASEBALL GAME 4 Shets-Sheet 2 Filed June 28, 1968 a m w w w.
RICHARD G. RIDEOUT FIG. 3
ATTORNEYS 1970 R. s. RIDEOUT 3,525,525
TOY BASEBALL GAME Filed June 28, 1968 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 I fg illi Wi e i F IG. 5 22 i5 y0 M2 m I 6 INVENTOR. /00- BYRICHARD G. RIDEOUT /6 M,QQ -H QE FIG? 7 ATTORNEYS Aug. 25, 1970 R. G. RIDEOUT 3,525,525
TOY BASEBALL GAME Filed June 28, 1968 4 Sheets-Sheet 4.
INVENTOR. RICHARD G. RIDEOUT BY M MW'QQJE ATTORNEYS United States Patent 01 Bee 3,525,525 Patented Aug. 25, 1970 3,525,525 TOY BASEBALL GAME Richard G. Rideout, Cambridge, Mass., assignor to Richard W. Schmader, Winchester, Mass. Filed June 28, 1968, Ser. No. 740,907 Int. Cl. A63f 7/06, 7/10 US. Cl. 27389 10 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A toy baseball game apparatus including a field on which a baseball diamond is shown, a motor-driven rotor on which a member representing a batter is removably mounted, stop elements under the four bases selectively movable up through the field into the path of the batter to stop the rotation of the rotor, a ball, means operable by one player to project the ball to any one of four swinging targets a selected one of which can be locked by the opposing player, and means operable by the ball when it passes one of the targets to start the motor and simultaneously to raise a corresponding stop element to stop the rotation when the batter reaches it. The rotor advances base-runner elements placed thereon.
This invention is an improvement over the apparatus shown in US. Pat. No. 3,050,308.
The game is designed for operation by two opposing players one of whom projects the ball toward any of the targets for the purpose of causing rotation of the rotor. The other player manipulates devices to prevent passage of the ball past any of the targets. For a more complete understanding of the invention reference may be had to the following description and to the drawings, of which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the apparatus embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is a section, on a larger scale, on the line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1, but on a larger scale, portions being broken away;
FIG. 4 is a section on a vertical plane of part of the apparatus;
FIG. 5 is a rear elevation of the apparatus;
FIG. 6 is a detail elevation of one of the switches controlling the motor;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view showing a stop element elevated to intercept the batter member;
FIG. 8 is a front elevational view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 9 is a wiring diagram of the circuits in the apparatus.
As indicated in FIG. 1, the apparatus comprises a rectangular box having a bottom 10 and side walls 12 and 14. Spaced above the bottom 10 is a horizontal field 16 on which is depicted a baseball diamond 18 with the home plate nearest to the front of the apparatus. Over the diamond is a rotor 20 which, as shown, consists of four arms 22 of equal length extending radially from a vertical shaft 24 driven by a small electric motor 26 mounted under the field 16 and supported by a bar 27. The four arms 22 are preferably identical, each having near its free end a short transverse slot 28 to receive a removable member or playing piece 30 which represents the batter in playing the game. The slots 28 are equidistant from the axis of rotation of the rotor 20 and when the rotor is at rest, the slots 28 are respectively directly over slots 32 at the locations of the four bases of the diamond, the latter slots being for stop members, hereinafter described, which are selectively elevated to intercept the batter member 30. Each arm 22 has a thickened end portion through which is a hole 34 adapted to receive a cylindrical peg 36 representing a base-runner. A peg 36 fits loosely in any of the holes 34 and its lower end rests on the field 16 so that when the rotor 20 turns, it carries the peg or pegs 36 around from one base to the next. If a base-runner is advanced all the way around the diamond, it drops through an aperture 40 near the home plate, scoring a run. A partition wall 41 just behind the aperture 40 keeps the peg within easy reach after it had dropped below the field.
Near the rear end of the apparatus is a vertical barrier 42 which has a series of four rectangular openings 44, 46, 48, 50. These openings are normally closed respectively by target plates 52, 54, 56, 58 which are hinged at the top and hang behind their respective openings ready to swing back about an axis 60 when struck by a ball 62 which is projected from the front end of the apparatus across the field 16. A cup 64 made of a plastic material is mounted behind each target plate to receive the ball 62 when it passes through the corresponding opening in the barrier 42. The cups are individually rockable about a horizontal axis 66. Beneath each cup 64 is an electric switch in series with the motor 26 and a suitable source of power such as a battery (not shown) or a connection 68 for the usual domestic power supply. As shown in FIG. 6, each switch consists of two metal blocks 70, 72 which serve as terminals to be connected by a floating conductor 74 in the form of a metal cylinder 74 loosely supported by two tongues 76, 78 (FIG. 4) which extend down from each cup 64. The mutually confronting surfaces of the terminals 70, 72 diverge upwardly so that when the conductor 74 descends into the space 80 to close the switch, it will operate properly even when the cup carrying it is somewhat out of line. The side walls 82, 84 of each cup 64 converge toward the rear to direct the ball to an exit opening 86 which is normally blocked by a slide bar 88 which is an angle bar having openings 90 which can be moved to register with the exit openings 86 by manipulation of an end 92 of the bar 88 projecting from the casing. This permits the ball when in one of the cups 64 to escape to a chute 94 and through an opening 96 in the rear of the casing. Each switch 70, 72 is in series with the motor 26 and a power source so that when the ball 62 enters any one of the cups 64 and rocks it downward to close one of the switches, the motor 26 starts to rotate the rotor 20 carrying with it the batter 30 and any base-runners 36 which may be in the holes 34. To stop the rotor 20 a series of four stop elements 100 is provided, each stop element being located directly below one of the slots 32 in the field 16. One such stop element is shown in FIGS. 4 and 7. The stop elements are mechanically connected respectively to the four rockable cups 64 by arms 102, 104, 106, 108 which extend forward from the respective cups 64. These stop elements determine how far the batter 30 will progress when the motor 26 is started. For example, if the ball passes through the opening 44 and enters the cup behind the target 52, the ball will rock that cup downward thus elevating the stop element 100 which is supported by the arm 102 at third base. In other words, the ball entering the cup behind the target 52 results in a three-base hit. If the ball enters the cup behind the targets 54, 56, 58, the results are, respectively, a two-base hit, a home run and a single as is evident from FIG. 3. When a stop element 100 is elevated to project above the level of the field 16, as indicated in FIG. 7, it is in the path of travel of a lug 110 projecting down from the batter 30 below the arm 22. Each stop element 100 is preceded by a sloping edge 112 which is engaged by the lug 110 just before it reaches the stop element 100. As the lug rides on the sloping edge 112, it depresses the arm that carries the stop element and rocks the cup to which the arm is attached, thus raising the conductor 74 and opening the switch to deenergize the motor 26.
The means provided to project the ball 62 across the field toward the barrier 42 comprises a block 114 which is movable on the forward portion of the field 16, the extent of its movement being limited by a stern 116 projecting down from its bottom through an elongated transverse slot 118 in the field 116. The block can be secured in position by tightening a thumb-nut 120 threaded on the stern 116. On the top face of the block are two aligned shallow grooves 122, 124 for the ball 62. Above the dividing line between the inner ends of these grooves is a bat 126 horizontally supported by a helical spring 128 one end of which is secured in an elevated portion of the block 114. The bat 126 extends a short distance into the outer end of the spring 128 and is resiliently held thereby in the horizontal position shown in FIG. 1, being spaced above the block so that its axis is on a level with the center of the ball 62 when the latter is in one of the grooves. When the bat 126 is manually pulled forward toward the operator and then released, the spring 128 causes it to hit the ball smartly, sending the ball toward the barrier 42. If the ball passes through one of the openings in the barrier, the rotor is operated and then stopped as hereinafter described, the batter 30 and a base-runner 36 having first been mounted on and in the arm 22 at the home plate. Suitable racks 130 are provided to hold a supply of pegs 36 representing base-runners. As shown on the drawings, the block is in a position to represent a right-handed batter. It can be readily turned around to represent a left-handed batter or to be operated by a lefthanded operator.
To assist the defense operator who is located behind the rear end of the apparatus, means for selectively locking any one of the four targets is provided, the locking means being hidden from the offense operator. For this purpose a transverse rod 132 is slidably mounted behind the barrier 42, a portion 134 being at right angles to the rest of the rod to project out through the rear wall of the casing to provide a handle for moving the rod. Projecting up from the rod 132 are four lugs 136 which are on a level with tongues 138 which project down from the bottom edges of the targets 52, 54, 56, 58. The spacing of the tongues 138 and the spacing of the lugs 136 are such that only one lug can be directly behind a tongue at any one time so that only one target can be locked at a time. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, notches 140 are provided in the casing wall to receive the handle 134 and hold the rod 132 in adjusted position. The particular target which is locked at any time is thus known to the defense operator but not to the offense operator. If the ball strikes a locked target, it cannot pass through the opening, but falls on the field, so the offense operator must guess which target is locked at any moment and should aim at any of the others.
As a further aid to the defense, a partial obstruction is provided in front of each of the openings. This is in the form of a slide 142 one end portion 144 of which projects out beyond the side wall of the casing (FIG. 8). A rod 146 is secured to the other end of the slide 142 and projects out from the other side wall of the casing. By manipulating these projecting elements, the slide can be quickly and easily shifted back and forth a limited distance. Extending up from the slide 142 are four vertical strips 148, 150, 152, 154, partially blocking respective openings 44, 46, 48, 50. The width of these strips may be different, but each covers only a fraction of the width of an opening. The slide 142 with its strips is readily movable by the defense operator back and forth for the purpose of getting one of the strips into the path of the ball 62 when the ball is projected by the offense operator. The strips are provided respectively with detachable elements 158, 160, 162, 164 which project above the top of the casing enclosing the cups 64 so as to assist the defense operator in attempting to align one of the strips with the ball-channel on the block 114. These elements may be in the form of baseball players. They are detachably mounted on their respective strips by slots 170 extending up from their lower edge to receive headed elements 172 on the front face of the respective strips.
The game is played by two operators sitting at opposite ends of the apparatus. The offense operator shifts and/or turns the block 114 to aim the ball for one of the target plates which he thinks is not locked, and more particularly at an exposed portion of that target plate which is not shielded by a slide strip. He then operates the bat 126 to project the ball. If the ball does not succeed in passing through one of the openings in the barrier, it falls on the field and is retrieved by the offense operator, an out being scored. If the ball gets past the barrier and into one of the cups 64, the rotor is turned and stopped in accordance with which cup is entered, the batter 30 and a base-runner 36 being advanced accordingly. The defense operator then shifts the slide to permit the ball to escape through a discharge aperture 96, whereupon it is returned to the offense operator and the slide 90 is shifted back to block the apertures '86. The batter is returned to the home plate position and the ball is again projected until three outs have been scored, whereupon the operators change places and resume play.
1. A toy baseball game apparatus comprising a substantially horizontal field having a representation of a baseball diamond thereon with first, second, third and home base locations, a vertical shaft extending up through said field at the center of said diamond, a rotor mounted on said shaft in a plane above said field, means below said field for rotating said shaft and rotor, a member representing a batter detachably mounted on said rotor with a portion extending down from said rotor and normally located over the said home base location, a stop element at each said location, means operable to elevate any one of said stop elements selectively into the path of the downward extension of said member, a ball, means for propelling said ball across said field, means engageable by said propelled ball for actuating said rotating means and a selected one of said stop-elevating means.
2. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 1, each said stop-elevating means comprising a rockably mounted cup adapted to receive said ball, and an arm attached at one end to the cup and carrying a stop element at the other end thereof.
3. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 2, said means for rotating the shaft comprising an electric motor and a control switch connected in series therewith, said switch being operable by movement of said cup to close the switch when the ball enters the cup and rocks it.
4. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 3, said downward extension of the batter member having means to depress the elevated stop element when engaged thereby to move said cup in reverse so as to open the closed switch.
5. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 4, each said switch comprising two spaced terminals having mutually confronting surfaces diverging upward, and a floating conductor supported by one of said cups above the space between said terminals, said conductor being lowered into contact with both terminals by said cup when the cup is rocked by said ball.
6. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 1, said rotor comprising four radial arms each having an aperture uniformly spaced from said shaft to receive said member representing a batter.
7. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 6 and, a plurality of pegs representing base-runners, each said arm having a hole therethrough to receive a peg loosely, said field having near the home plate location a hole therethrough under the path described by the holes in said arms whereby any peg moved by rotation of said rotor to register with said hole through the field drops therethrough.
8. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 2, said apparatus including an upright barrier between the ball pro pelling means and the cups, said barrier having four openings therethrough and target plates normally closing said openings, each said target plate being hinged to the barrier and adapted to swing back if unlocked when struck by said ball whereby the ball can pass through the corresponding opening into one of said cups, and means operable by the player at the rear of the apparatus to lock selectively any one of said targets.
9. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 8, wherein said means to lock said targets comprises a slide having obstruction elements in front of said openings but of substantially less width than the correspondingopenings, and means operable by the player at the rear of the apparatus to move said slide transversely of the apparatus.
10. A game apparatus as claimed in claim 1, said ballpropelling means comprising a block movable on said field near the front end of the apparatus, said block having shallow aligned grooves in its upper face to receive said ball, a short rod supported horizontally above said upper face, and a spring secured at one end to said block and at the other end to said rod, said spring being arranged to swing said rod when the rod is retracted and then released.
References Cited RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner P. E. SHAPIRO, Assistant Examiner US. 01, X.R. 124-45; 273-127