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Publication numberUS3633909 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 11, 1972
Filing dateNov 18, 1969
Priority dateNov 18, 1969
Publication numberUS 3633909 A, US 3633909A, US-A-3633909, US3633909 A, US3633909A
InventorsDoynow David
Original AssigneeDoynow David
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Baseball pitcher{3 s practice device
US 3633909 A
Abstract
This invention relates to a device for simulating baseball pitching conditions and more particularly to a novel device constructed to represent true baseball pitching conditions by use of a three-dimensional batter in conjunction with an adjustable rectangular "strike zone.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventor David Doynow 31 Sherbrooke Road, Hartsdale, NY. 10530 Appl. No. 877,706

Filed Nov. 18, 1969 Patented Jan. 11, 1972 BASEBALL PITCHERS PRACTICE DEVICE 2 Claims, 2 Drawing Figs.

US. Cl 273/26 A Int. Cl A63b 69/40 Field of Search... 273/26 A References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 12/1927 Stauffer 273/26 A 1,879,316 9/1932 Kleb 273/26 A 2,944,816 7/1960 Dixon 273/26 A 2,978,246 4/1961 Gronningen 273/26 A 3,341,197 9/1967 Bottorff 273/26 A 3,039,770 6/1962 Ferretti 273/26 A Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham Assistant ExaminerTheatrice Brown Attorney-Pennie, Edmonds, Morton, Taylor and Adams ABSTRACT: This invention relates to a device for simulating baseball pitching conditions and more particularly to a novel device constructed to represent true baseball pitching conditions by use of a three-dimensional batter in conjunction with an adjustable rectangular strike zone."

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INVENTOR David Do now 7% f BY 7764 WATTORNEYS BASEBALL PITCIIERS PRACTICE DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a baseball-pitching simulator, and more particularly to a machine representative of real playing conditions for teaching the art of pitching in a baseball game.

2. Description of the Prior Art Baseball pitching devices sometimes are referred to as pitching targets are employed to develop and improve pitching control and accuracy. They are also employed as a family game.

Such pitching devices usually comprise a piece of flexible material mounted on and held erect by a wooden or tubular frame, the mounted material having holes therein. The device may have figures of players, such as catchers and batters, drawn on the flexible material in an attempt to depict playing conditions and the ball is to be thrown at the pictured scene.

These various pitching targets have been found to be un satisfactory to teach the art of baseball pitching because they do not provide the lifelike simulation of conditions necessary to teach and improve the pitching ability of students of the game. Persons pitching baseballs at the existing devices encounter great difficulty attempting to determine whether or not a ball has struck that part of the flexible material through which there is no aperture but yet constitutes a part of the strike zone" thereby leaving to conjecture and surmise what is or is not a strike. The game of baseball is an exacting one and in fact is often referred to as the game of inches so that in teaching the art of pitching, the teaching device must be one capable of exactitude and not one that causes confusion and speculation.

The art of throwing a baseball, however, is more than pitching strikes, one must also learn control. The fact that figures were drawn on the flexible material of some of the prior devices did not aid in the teaching control but rather detracted therefrom because, here to, it was left to speculation whether a batter was or was not hit with a pitch.

My invention overcomes these problems because, the strike zone" is exactly delineated and adjustable, thereby providing a teaching device which demands the necessary exacting standards in that immediate and accurate information is obtained as to whether or not the pitch thrown was a strike. My invention also aids in teaching control because the inherent fear children and adults have of hitting the batter is placated, in that the guesswork of when a batter is hit is gone thereby providing the student with the opportunity to correct his faults and learn control free from the psychological distraction of the possibility of causing harm to a live batter.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION I have invented a device consisting of a life-size, threedimensional figure in a batting position which is removably mounted on a base. The life-size, three-dimensional figure is mounted in a batting position in relation to an adjustable rectangular frame. The area within the inner perimeter of the adjustable rectangular frame exactly delineates a strike zone." A ball passing through this area would denote a strike. This pitching simulator achieves true playing conditions because a catcher can assume a catching position as he would in a real contest behind the rectangular frame, defining the strike zone," provide a glove target for the ball to be thrown to and return each pitch, thereby providing a threedimensional, true to life, playing simulation with exacting standards rather than the speculative two-dimensional one provided for by prior devices.

The advantages achieved by my invention are many. Much of the mastery of the art of pitching is psychological, my invention presents a condition affording perception, that is, the student is pitching to a batter and thereby obtaining a feel" of the game. Accuracy and control are paramount in achieving the art of pitching and my invention provides exacting standards. A student would know whenever a batter is hit and would know whenever the ball passes through the "strike zone he has pitched a strike. The "strike zone is fully adjustable to achieve the variety of strike zones" due to the varying sizes of players, a pitcher may face during a game.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a front elevation of one embodiment of the pitching simulator.

FIG. 2 is a front elevation of another embodiment of the pitching simulator.

It will be understood that the above drawings merely illustrate two preferred embodiments of the invention and that other embodiments are contemplated within the scope of the claims hereinafter set forth.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT One embodiment is depicted in FIG. I, referring to FIG. I, the pitching simulator comprises a three-dimensional manikin 1 having a relativedegree of durability being composed of a synthetic material. The three-dimensional manikin 1 may be composed of vinyl plastic inflatable by pumping air into it, a metal tubular frame with a plastic covering, plastic, wood, polyurethane foam, hard rubber or metalqThe manikin l is removably mounted on base 2, the base 2 may be composed of wood, metal, plastic, polyurethane foam, or be of a metal tubular construction. The manikin I is attached to the base 2 by means of a strap 3, the strap 3 being connected to the base 2. The strap 3 may be leather, heavy canvas, plastic or any other flexible material sufficient to hold said manikin I erect and in a batting position. There are two straps 3, which may also be a series of straps, connected to the base on either side of the homeplate 4 to afford the simulation of a rightor lefthanded batter, the straps 3 are located in the batters box" (not shown in drawing). The batters box" would be drawn onto the base 2 on either'side of the homeplate 4 designating that area in which a batter is to stand while batting. The homeplate 4 and batters box having'the dimensions conforming to the major leagues baseball regulations and the homeplate" 4 being either drawn on the base 2 attached thereto and composed of wood, plastic, metal, hard rubber or polyurethane foam. Connected to and detachable from the homeplate" 4. is a spring 5 which is adapted to accept leg 6 of the adjustable rectangular frame 7 to hold the frame 7 in a parallel relationship to the manikin l. The spring 5 affords resiliency to the leg 6 and rectangular frame 7 so that if either the leg 6 of any part of the rectangular frame 7 is struck by a pitched baseball, the spring 5 will absorb the resultant shock. The spring 5 may be eliminated from the device and instead a bore would be provided through the'center of homeplate" 4 said bore adapted to accept the leg 60f said rectangular frame 7. The rectangular frame 7 is in two sections, an upper section 8 and a lower section 9, each-consisting of a horizontal end member and two vertical side members. Each of the side members of the upper section is connected to a side member of the lower section by a telescoping means and affording a rectangular shape, the inner area of said frame 7 exactly delineating the strike zone 10. The telescoping means 12 is adjusted by loosening the adjustment screws 12'adjusting the strike zone to the desired position and tightening said adjustment screws 12'. Said rectangular frame 7 may be composed of tubular metal, wood, tubular plastic, solid plastic, hard'rubber or polyurethane'foam. Said rectangular frame 7 may also be provided with a detachable net 11 or canvas bag to catch and retain any balls thrown through' the strike zone" 10.

Another embodiment is depicted in FIG. 2, referring to FIG. 2, the pitching simulator comprises an adjustablethree-dimensional manikin composed of vinyl plastic having two separate compartments on upper 21 and a lower 22 which are inflatable by pumping air into them so that the distance between the manikins 20 shoulders and knees may be varied by varying the amount of air pumped into the compartments.

The manikin 20 may be composed of a metal tubular frame with a plastic covering with telescoping means on the tubular frame of plastic, wood, polyurethane foam, hard rubber or metal with insertable parts to vary its height. The manikin 20 is attached to a lever spring 23 which spring is removably connected to the base 24. The lever spring may be connected to the base on either side of homeplate 25 to afford the simulation of a rightor left-handed batter. Connected to and detachable from homeplate 25 is a leg 26 having an upper 27 and lower 28 portion connected with a telescoping means 33 so as to vary the height of the rectangular frame 28 and to hold the frame 28 in a parallel relationship to the adjustable manikin 20. The telescoping means 33 is adjusted by loosening the adjustment screws 33', adjusting said telescoping means 33 to the desired position and then tightening said adjustment screws 33'. The rectangular frame 28 is in two sections, an upper section 29 and a lower section 30, each consisting of a horizontal end member and two vertical side members. Each of the side members of the upper section is connected to a side member of the lower section by a telescoping means 34 and affording a rectangular shape, the inner area of said frame 28 exactly delineating the strike zone 31. The telescoping means 34 is adjusted by loosening the adjustment screws 34, adjusting said telescoping means 34 to the desired position and then tightening said adjustment screws 34'.

lt is to be noted that this device is to be completely disassembled to afford easy storage.

lt is also to be noted that this device can be used utilizing one or more of its parts, that is, with or without the manikin, with or without the strike zone, or with or without the manikin and strike zone.

lclaim:

. An adjustable baseball-pitching simulator comprising:

a base; a three-dimensional, life-size manikin being composed of synthetic material and removably mounted on said base, said manikin also being provided with a means for varying its height; and

. a rectangular frame having side and end members and a a three-dimensional, life-size manikin being composed of synthetic material and removably mounted on said base, said manikin also being provided with a means for varying its height; and

. a rectangular frame having side and end members and a leg extending from one of said end members, said leg being provided with a telescoping means, the inner area of said frame defining a strike zone, said leg member being romovably mounted on said base at a location which positions the frame in substantially strike zone" relation to said manikin and the side members of said frame being constructed and arranged such that their lengths may be adjusted to vary the area of the strike zone defined by said frame.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1652062 *May 23, 1927Dec 6, 1927Stauffer John FTarget
US1879316 *Jun 20, 1931Sep 27, 1932Kleb George ABaseball strike zone target
US2944816 *Mar 21, 1960Jul 12, 1960Dixon Jack RRecreational apparatus
US2978246 *Oct 13, 1958Apr 4, 1961Groningen Theodorus B VanTarget device for base-ball pitchers
US3039770 *Oct 9, 1958Jun 19, 1962Ferretti Arthur TAdjustable pitching tee
US3341197 *Dec 11, 1963Sep 12, 1967Richard D BottorffAdjustable game target mast apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3765675 *Jul 8, 1971Oct 16, 1973Di Marzio RSimulated hockey goalie
US3871647 *Aug 30, 1974Mar 18, 1975Tellez Arturo OAdjustable height baseball batter dummy
US4160549 *Jan 19, 1978Jul 10, 1979Simpson John PTennis serve training and practice device
US4456251 *Aug 18, 1980Jun 26, 1984Plaspack Kunststoff Gmbh & Co. KgTennis ball rebound practice net
US4473227 *Oct 28, 1983Sep 25, 1984Louis KlausBaseball pitchers' practice device
US4497485 *Jun 4, 1984Feb 5, 1985Macosko Robert LBaseball pitching target
US4650189 *May 14, 1984Mar 17, 1987Joseph RajacichRecreational practice apparatus for rebounding balls
US4819937 *Jul 12, 1988Apr 11, 1989James GordonCombined batting tee and strike indicator
US4826164 *Apr 6, 1987May 2, 1989Butcher Gary JBaseball pitching training apparatus
US4930774 *Feb 15, 1989Jun 5, 1990Butcher Gary JBaseball pitching training apparatus
US5083774 *Feb 27, 1991Jan 28, 1992Fikri YalvacBaseball pitching target device
US5118103 *Jul 20, 1990Jun 2, 1992Miller Michael PCollapsible pitching screen
US5433434 *Jan 4, 1995Jul 18, 1995Helmetsie; Eugene A.Baseball pitching target
US5509649 *Oct 11, 1994Apr 23, 1996Buhrkuhl; David R.Device and method for measuring the velocity and zonal position of a pitched ball
US5803841 *May 21, 1997Sep 8, 1998Daskoski; Raymond S.Pitcher's training aid
US6350211Feb 11, 2000Feb 26, 2002Laura Zane KolmarBaseball pitching aid
US6620065 *Jan 11, 2001Sep 16, 2003John D. ClaboughPitcher's box pitcher training system
US6679795Aug 1, 2001Jan 20, 2004Aaron D. OuimetteTarget apparatus and method
US7470202 *Jan 17, 2007Dec 30, 2008Joseph Edwin LewisMethod for practicing pitching and apparatus therefor
WO2000047294A1 *Feb 11, 2000Aug 17, 2000Laura Zane KolmarBaseball pitching aid
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/454
International ClassificationA63B69/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2208/12, A63B69/0002
European ClassificationA63B69/00B