US 3529823 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' p 1970 J. P. GARVER 3,529,823
BASEBALL BATTING PRACTICE DEVICE Filed March 28, 1968 INVENTOR.
JOHN P. GARVER ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,529,823 BASEBALL BATTING PRACTICE DEVICE John P. Garver, 9450 Sharrott Road, Youngstown, Ohio 44514 Filed Mar. 28, 1968, Ser. No. 716,914 Int. Cl. A63b 69/40 US. Cl. 273-26 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A baseball batting practice device in the form of a stand holding rotatable cross arms, the ends of each of which suspend shock absorbent members having curly pile fabric to which baseballs having patches of hook fabric are releasably secured.
The present invention relates to a baseball batting practice device which will, when manually operated, present a baseball to a batter at a desired height so that the batter can practice hitting the ball and driving it from the device.
The principal object of the invention is the provision of a device for holding baseballs in position to be hit by a batter and arranged so that they release upon being hit.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a baseball batting practice device which may be used to rapidly present a plurality of baseballs to a batter in a manner permitting the batter to perfect his batting technique by hitting the balls and driving them from the device.
A still further object of the invention is the provision of a baseball batting practice device which is portable, easily set up and conveniently operated for its intended purpose.
Those skilled in the game of baseball will be familiar with the difficulty experienced by batters in batting practice. Heretofore it has been necessary to provide a pitcher to pitch baseballs to the batter with the ability of the pitcher to place the ball in a predetermined area controlling the accuracy and hitting characteristics of the batter. The present invention comprises a device which presents baseballs at varying elevations to a batter so that he can perfect his hitting characteristics at any particular desired height with positive knowledge that the ball will be in the desired place when he practices. Thus, he may simulate the ball characteristics of a particular pitcher and practice hitting the ball under such conditions, all of which will be obviously advantageous to the batter.
The present invention makes possible the selective positioning of baseballs for a batter for practice purposes by suspending them on a shock absorbing member which in turn is suspended from the end of an arm which is rotatably positioned on an offset stand. -A plurality of such arms enable a plurality of balls to be positioned thereon and moved into appropriate batting position as rapidly as the batter desires. The balls are individually held by means of curly pile fabric on the shock absorbing members and patches of hook fabric on the baseballs. This construction is available commercially under the trademark Velcro and may be used indefinitely without abnormal wearing or breakdown.
With the foregoing and other objects in view which will appear as the description proceeds, the invention resides in the combination and arrangement of and in the details of construction hereinafter described and claimed, it being the intention to cover all changes and modifications of the example of the invention herein chosen for ice purposes of the disclosure, which do not constitute departures from the spirit and scope of the invention.
The invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawing, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the baseball batting practice device.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged vertical section on line 22 of FIG. 1.
By referring to the drawing and FIG. 1 in particular, it will be seen that the device has a support means which comprises a vertical post 10'c1ampingly secured adjacent its lower end to a mounting disc 11 to which a plurality of curved end legs 12 are attached. Bolts positioned through the straight portions of the curved end legs 12 engage a fitting 13 on the lower end of the post 10 to hold the post in vertical position. Ground engaging rubber caps 14 are positioned on the lower ends of the legs 12. At least one and preferably a pair of cross arm members 15 are rotatably positioned on the post 10 near its upper end and by means of collars 16 provided with set screws 17 so that they can be fixed with respect to their vertical position and at the same time rotated with respect to the post 10 as hereinafter described. Each of the cross arm members 15 has depending flexible cushioned baseball suspending element on its outer-most end. Said ele ments each comprise an enlarged vertically positioned circular extension 18 to which a section of tubular fabric material 19 is clampingly secured as by a clamp 20. The lower end of the section of tubular fabric material 19 is rounded as at 21 and provided with or formed of curly pile fabric. The tubular members 19 which are formed of flexible fabric material are preferably filled with soft yieldable material such as foam rubber or plastic 22, as may best be seen by referring to the enlarged cross section of FIG. 2 of the drawing.
In FIG. 2 of the drawing, the looped pile fabric 21 defining the lower end of the member 19 may be seen and a baseball B will be seen to have a patch of hook pile fabric 23 adhered thereto by a suitable cement or otherwise, as will occur to those skilled in the art. The curly pile fabric 21 and the hook pile fabric 23 are preferably the material available commercially and sold under the trademark Velcro.
By referring again to FIG. 1 of the drawing, it will be seen that, there are two of the cross arm members 15 illustrated, that each angles downwardly in slight degree from its point of attachment to the post 10 and that one of the cross arm members 15 is positioned directly above the other on the post 10. It will also be seen that each of them has the ball suspending means just described on its outermost end and as best illustrated in FIG. 2.
In addition to the ball suspending means, each of the cross arm members 15 has a wire rack 24 extending in spaced relation and parallel therewith with the ends thereof inturned and down turned and engaged in openings 25 in the cross arm members 15. A plurality of baseballs may thus be conveniently positioned in the wire racks 24 as they will rest on the wire 24 and the cross arm member 15 and they will tend to roll downwardly and outwardly toward the end of the cross arm member 15 where they may be conveniently picked up and manually attached to the ball suspending means hereinbefore described. The ball carrying rack .24 is a convenience aspect of the device and is not essential to the invention.
By referring again to FIG. 2 of the drawing, it will be seen that the actual ball attaching and suspending means comprises the tubular flexible fabric member 19 which is similar to a sock and clamped at its uppermost end, as hereinbefore described and filled with the foam material 22. The device becomes practical because of the application of the curly pile fabric 21 to the lower end thereof and the attachment of the hook pile fabric 23 to each of the baseballs to be used in batting practice.
It has been determined by experimentation that a batter can successfully control his bat positioning and striking ability by practicing repeatedly with the baseballs presented in exactly the desired location; when his practice has perfected hitting in that location, the cross arm members 15 may be raised or lowered and the position of the ball changed to permit the further practice and perfection of alternate batting positions. The ball may be positioned and left stationary for batting practice or it may be moved into the area of the strike by the person positioning the balls and attending the device during batting practice. Thus, a batter has a choice of many and varied arrangements to perfect his batting technique.
Experimentation has determined that if the batter over hits the ball no damage is done as the bat hits the soft flexible tubular member 19 and if he under hits it is simply left in position for a second try.
The patches of the hook fabric 23 on the baseballs do not seriously affect their flight pattern when they are hit and they have no effect on the batting practice with respect to the ball while they are in position. They work exceedingly Well in suspending the ball and immediately freeing it upon being hit and since they are themselves 25 1. A baseball batting practice device including support means including a sidewardly extending arm, a depending flexible cushioning element on said arm, said depending element consisting of a flexible tubular member, foam rubber filling said tubular member, a portion of flexible fastening material on the lower end of said depending flexible cushioning element for receiving and detachably holding baseballs having cooperating sections of flexible fastening material thereon.
2. The baseball batting practice device set forth in claim 1 and wherein said support means comprises a vertical post and said sidewardly extending arm being a horizontal arm on said post, there being at least one said horizontal arm, and wherein said depending flexible cushioning element is attached to the outer end of said horizontal arm.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,955,823 10/ 1960 Chanko. 3,032,345 5/1962 Lemelson. 3,063,718 11/ 1962v Steinkamp. 3,401,941 9/ 1968 Hesidence.
FOREIGN PATENTS 240,652 10/ 1925 Great Britain.
RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner T. BROWN, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 27358