|Publication number||US3809397 A|
|Publication date||May 7, 1974|
|Filing date||Apr 3, 1972|
|Priority date||Apr 8, 1971|
|Also published as||CA967991A, CA967991A1|
|Publication number||US 3809397 A, US 3809397A, US-A-3809397, US3809397 A, US3809397A|
|Original Assignee||Gruenewald B|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (55), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
tel  Gruenewald APPARATUS FOR DEVELOPING QUICKNESS 1N SWINGING or A BASEBALL BAT  Inventor: Bryan J. Gruenewald, 3684 Strand Way, San Diego, Calif. 92109  Filed: Apr. 3, 1972  Appl. No.: 240,446
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 170,075, Aug. 8,
 US. Cl 273/26 B  Int. Cl A631) 69/40  Field of Search 273/26 B, 67 R, 1.5 A
273/1065 C; D34/l5 ZZ, 5 DA; D52/6 D;
264/137; 46/74 A, 74 B, 74 C [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,463,492 8/1969 White 273/67-R 3,521,883 7/1970 Hamilton 273/26 B 2,957,272 10/1960 Bezack et al. 4 46/74 A 3,476,625 I 11/1969 Slivinsky et al 264/137 FOREIGN PATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS 1,148,138 12/1957 France ..273/lO6.5C
353,638 2/1931' Great Britain 273/1065 C OTHER PUBLICATIONS Machine Digest, pp. 152-154, Nov. 26, 1959.
Primary Examiner-Richard C. Pinkham Assistant Examiner-Theatrice Brown Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Brown & Martin [5 7] ABSTRACT Exercise apparatus for use in conjunction with an ordinary baseball bat including a tubular tapered body that is inserted over the handle end of the bat and lodges near the hitting end of the bat. The tapered body mounts air resistance vanes, spaced around its circumference, and received in channels formed by lengthwise, parallel channel wall members attached to the tapered body. In use, the apparatus is installed over a bat, and the bat swung in the normal fashion. The user experiences the feel of substantially the normal swing augmented by greatly increased resistance. The resistance is at a maximum at the highest velocity. This produces maximum conditioning and developing effect on the wrists and those muscles involved in the follow through portion of the swing.
10 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures This application is a continuation-in-part of a copending application for EXERCISE DEVICE FOR SWINGING A BASEBALL BAT, Ser. No. 170,075 filed Aug. 8, 1971 (and since abandoned).
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various devices have been utilized to facilitate the development of muscular strength and coordination to produce a quick and powerful swing.
The more complex types of apparatus include mechanisms for providing an appropriate resistance on a cable moved by the user through the approximate motions encountered in a swing of a baseball bat in an attempt to develop the proper muscles for an improved swing. These devices are' quite complex, and therefore expensive, and do not hold up well in service. Further, they do not closely simulate the actual forces encountered during the swing of a baseball bat, and therefore develop unneeded muscles, while not properly developing the muscles most needed.
Another type of exercise device, used in conjunction with baseball bats, is a weighted ring received over the hitting end of the bat, to be swung with the bat, thereby increasing the effort necessary to accelerate the bat to speed and creating the potential for muscle development. The conditioning effect is based on the inertia of the weight and therefore produces a maximum increase in the resistance to the swinging of the bat, at thefirst part of the swing, while the weight is being accelerated.
' It therefore does not develop those muscles required to snap the bat through as the wrists break, or to follow through. In fact, the inertia carries the bat through the breaking of the wrists to apply additional force at this part of the swing. The effect experienced is opposite to that desired. The same deficiencies that apply to the device when utilized for exercise, also apply' to its use for warm up. The psychological effect of the device is to make the bat feel lighter and therefore give a batter confidence. However, the strain which the device placeson the batters muscles is improperly placed. Those muscles that are most important to a quick accurate swing have not been stressed and the net effect of the device is to throw off a batters timing and concentration.
Thus all of the prior art devices are unsatisfactory for use in exercise and warm up for a baseballswing, because they are not the swing that is, they do not closely simulate the forces and feel of an actual swing using a standard baseball bat. To the extent that these devices or techniques deviate from the swing, they tend to develop extraneous muscles. The muscles often work against those muscles most needed for a quick powerful swing.
Many baseball authorities agree that ability to hit the fast ball is essential to develop the confidence and positive approach to batting that is necessary for an all around successful batten Thus, there is a need for a device that may be utilized by a baseball player, that will assist in the development of the muscles and agility, necessaryto improve quickness and power in the swing, particularly to develop that quickness necessary to more consistently hit a fast ball pitch.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The apparatus of the invention provides a means for conditioning, exercising and warming up for the swing in baseball, by providing an apparatus to be secured to a baseball bat that is light in weight but which has a large vane area to produce increasing resistance to the movement of the bat as the speed of the bat increases. The light weight of the apparatus, and the fact that it is distributed along the bat diminishes the inertia effect, to emphasize the air resistance effect, so that maximum conditioning is obtained at the snap of the wrist, where the bat is moving near maximum speed, as well as in the follow through.
The invention incorporates a body means that is received over a baseball bat and becomes lodged.
thereon. The body means provides for the mounting of a plurality of vane means. The vane means comprise substantially planar vane elements that extend along the bat and outward therefrom to present a large area to the air through which the bat is swung, independent of the rotational orientation of the bat. The vane mounting provision on the body means is configured so that it compliments the stiffness of the vanes, to enable the use of minimum vane thicknesses while retaining the requisite rigidity.
The body means is tapered at substantially the same .angle that a baseball bat tapers, but includes a double tapered section. This section ensures that the device will consistently lodge on the bat in approximately the same longitudinal position so that predictable swing forces are obtained. Provision is made for the vanes to be adjusted longitudinally along the bat, to permit variation in the swing force. Further, the body means is so configured that it is readily adaptable to mass production techniques while retaining the desired strength and durability characteristics.
It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a new and improved apparatus for developing quickness and strength in the swinging of a baseball bat.
It is another object of the invention to provide a new and improved apparatus for developing quickness and strength in the swinging of a baseball bat, that is easily secured to and removed from a standard baseball bat.
It is another object of the invention to provide a new and improved apparatus for developing quickness and strength in the swinging of a baseball bat that is light in weight.
It is another object of the invention to provide a new and improved apparatus for developing quickness and strength in the swinging of a baseball bat that distributes its weight over a considerable longitudinal distance on the bat. i It is another object of the invention to provide a new and improved apparatus for developing quickness and strength in the swinging of a baseball bat that is highly durable.
It is another object of the invention to provide a new and improved apparatus for developing quickness and strength in the swinging of a baseball bat that is low in manufacturing cost.
It is another object of the invention to provide a new and improved apparatus for developing quickness and strength in the swinging of a baseball bat that has an adjustable conditioning effect.
strength in the swinging of a baseball bat'that closely simulates the feel and forces encountered during a normal baseball swing.
It is another object of the invention to provide a new and improved apparatus forv developing quickness and strength in the'swinging of a baseball bat that produces vane stiffness with a minimum weight penalty.
' Other objects and many attendant advantages of the invention will become more apparent upon a reading of the following detailed description together with the drawings in which like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the apparatus attached to a baseball bat.
FIG. 2 is a side elevation view, partially cut away.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 3 -3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken on-line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
Referring now to the drawings, there is illustrated an exemplary embodiment of the invention. The apparatus comprises a tubular tapered body means and four vane means 12, inserted over a bat 13.
'The .body 10 is comprisedof two extruded sections 14 and 16 that are keyed together by aligning pins 18 and 20. received in opposed recesses 22 and 24. The body portion may be comprised of a plurality of materials however it has been found that ABS plastic is particularly suitable for mass production by injection molding, and provides excellant mechanical properties having sufficient rigidity to support the vanes, while retain- I ing the necessary flexibility and toughness. Thus, ABS plastic or other polycarbonate plastics are a preferred material for use in conjunction with the invention.
The body portion mounts a plurality of left and right channel wall members 30 and 32, that are radially disposed from the central axis of the tubular body portion, and 'extend outwardly therefrom a sufficient distance to provide a channel for receiving the vanes. Additional rigidity and strength for the channel wall member is provided by three sets of gussets, spaced longitudinally along the tubular body portion, and on opposite sides of the channel wall members The outermost longitudinal sets of gussets include gussets 40 and 42 for each channel wall member set. Gussets 44 and 46 are located centrally of the tubular body portion, and gussets 48 and 50 are located closest to the handle end of the apparatus.
Referring now to FIG. 2, the tapered configuration of the tubular body means is illustrated. The hitting end of the tubular body portion 52 has a diameter in excess of the largest diameter of the bat. For example for use on conventional bats, the hitting end 52 has an inside diameter of 2.70 inches. This section tapers to 2.70 inches at the beginning of the double tapered section 54. The double tapered section has a relatively rapid taper'from 2.70 inches to 2.58 inches. The 2.58 inch dimension corresponds to the maximum bat diameter. Therefore the device would normally lodge on the bat with bat end in the double taperedsection. The remaining taper is at the taper rate equal to the conventional bat taper so that the device closely conforms to the surface of the bat. The handle end of the apparatus 60 has an inside diameter of approximately 2.30 inches. To reduce the total weight and the amount of material needed, the body is provided with lightening holes 33, 35 and 37.
Referring now to FIG. I, there are illustrated the vane means 12. The vane means are generally rectangular in configuration with rounded corners'and including a tapered edge 64 and an enlarged rounded corner 65. The positioning of the taper is such that the maximum vane area, is at the maximum distance from the handle end of the bat, and therefore has a maximum resistance to the rapid movement of the bat through the air. It has been found that a total vane area in excess of three square feet is desirable. While numerous-materials may be acceptable for use in the vane construction, it has been found that glass fiber reinforced plastic is extremely suitable particularly because it is compatible with a polycarbonate plastic tubular body portion. The fiberglass may be approximately 0.037 inches in thickness, and may be die stamped to reduce manufacturing cost.
The vanes are received within the channels formed by the channel wall members 30 and 32, and are secured to the channel wall members by a plurality of screws 66 and nut 68 received through corresponding holes in the vane and channel. The vane is provided I with a plurality of adjustment holes. In the instant embodiment it is provided with three holes 70 at its inner most end and three holes 72 at its outermost end to accommodate three positions of adjustment of the vane along the channel. This enables the user to adjust the total resistance effect.
OPERATION In use, the apparatus of the invention is installed over a baseball bat .13, by inserting the handle end of the bat through the enlarged end 52 of the tubular tapered body means 10. The bat handle is smaller than the smallest diameter 60 of the body means and therefore slides through the body until the large hitting end of the bat lodges against the tapered inner diameter of the tubular body means. The consistent positioning of the bat is ensured by the double tapered section 54 which tapers' to the maximum bat diameter of approximately 2.58 inches and therefore ensures that the hitting end 15 of the bat will be lodged approximately in the position illustrated in FIG; 2.
After installation on the bat the apparatus may be utilized in conditioning or warm up exercising. In both uses, the emphasis of the device on velocity resistance, rather than in inertia resistance, ensures that the development of the muscles will be accentuated at the point of the swing where maximum velocity is obtained. In particular, the device emphasizes the development of those muscles necessary to achieve quickness and strength in batting. The device also produces a conditioning effect on the follow through, rather than being propelled through the follow through portion of the swing, by the inertia of the weight. The apparatus design produces a low weight configuration. If a user determines that the resistance effect is improper for his purpose, then the conditioning effect may be varied by moving the vanes along the channels, and resecuring the vanes in a new position through one of the plurality of securing holes 70 and 72. After use, the device may be removed from the bat by reversing the installation process, and tapping the bat or otherwise forcing it out of the enlarged end 52 of the body means.
Having described my invention, I now claim: 1. Exercize apparatus for developing strength and quickness in the swinging of a baseball bat comprising:
an elongated bat having a handle portion sized to be grasped by the hands of a user adjacent a first end thereof, and an enlarged second end,
at least three substantially planar air resistance vanes,
said vanes being secured on said bat at the second end thereof,
each of said vanes extending radially outwardly from said bat and being parallel to the longitudinal axis thereof,
said vanes being spaced from one another in equal circumferential increments about said bat,
whereby increased resistance to movement of said bat is experienced as the velocity of said second end' increases and said resistance is substantially independent of the rotational orientation of said bat.
2. Exercize apparatus according to claim 1 wherein:
four planar air resistance vanes are spaced at 90 increments around said bat.
3. Exercize apparatus according to claim 1 wherein:
said vanes are secured to said bat through a tubular body engaging said enlarged second end of said bat.
4. Apparatus according to claim 3 wherein,
said vane elements have a total area of at least three square feet.
5. Apparatus according to claim 3 wherein,
said vane elements have a thickness no greater than 0.050 inches.
6. Apparatus according to claim 3 wherein:
said tubular body comprises a substantially cylindrical sleeve having an inside diameter slightly smaller than the outside diameter of said enlarged second end of said bat and mounting elongated vane receiving channels,
said channels comprising two parallel spaced apart walls extending radially of the central axis of said tubular body,
7. Exercize apparatus according to claim 6 wherein:
said inside diameter of said tubular body tapers from a narrow end to a wide end, said fins extending beyond said wide end. 8. Exercize apparatus according to claim 6 wherein: said inside diameter of said tubular body tapers from a narrow end to a wide end, said taper having an increased slope at the mid portion of said body for fixing the position of said body on said bat. a,
9. Apparatus according to claim 6 comprising,
fastener means for securing said vane elements in said channels.
10. Apparatus according to claim 9 wherein,
said fastener means for securing said vane elements in an adjustable position along said channel.
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