US 3819038 A
A package construction which comprises a tubular ball tee, a ball bat telescopically received in the ball tee, a ball and a pair of straps for releasably retaining the ball at one end of the tee. The straps are further utilizable as a base structure for holding the tubular tee in a vertical position such that the ball may be placed on the upper end of the upstanding tee, the bat being used by a player to hit the ball from the tee.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Candor et al.
[ PACKAGE CONSTRUCTION FOR BASEBALL TEE, BAT AND BALL  Inventors: James T. Cand0r,.544O Cynthia Ln.,
Washington Twp., Montgomery County, Ohio 45429; Joseph V. Tassone, 2425 Rawndale Rd., Kettering, Ohio 45440  Filed: Jan. 2, 1973 [211 App]. No.: 320,206
 US. Cl. 206/46 AM, 273/26 R  Int. Cl A63b 69/40  Field of Search 273/25, 26 R; 248/165, 248/l88.7; 206/46 AM  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,527,906 10/1950 Bennett et a] 273/26 R l June 25, 1974 Primary ExaminerAnton O. Oechsle Assistant Erarniner-Theatrice Brown Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Candor, Candor & Tassone 57] ABSTRACT A package construction which comprises a tubular ball tee, a ball bat telescopically received in the ball tee, a ball and a pair of straps for releasably retaining the ball at one end of the tee. The straps are further utilizable as a base structure for holding the tubular tee in a vertical position such that the ball may be placed on the upper end of the upstanding tee, the bat being used by a player to hit the ball from the tee.
3 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PACKAGE CONSTRUCTION FOR BASEBALL TEE, BAT AND BALL BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION and may have holes therein to prevent such balls from 7 being hit large distances.
However, it is difficult for a young ball player to improve his batting skills while playing alone and various comparatively expensive ball toss-up devices and tees have been proposed heretofore and sold as individual Items.
Because young ball players practically universally do not take proper care of their equipment, it would be desirable to provide a package which may include a ball bat, a ball tee, and one or more balls which would allow a young batter to improve his or her battingskills' yet is so economical that even if abused, damaged, or lost could be replaced at minimum cost.
SUMMARY This invention provides an economical package construction which includes a tubular ball tee member, a bat, and may include one or more balls and such package is self contained and all parts thereof are useable so that a purchaser is paying for useable components and not packaging material.
Other details, uses, and advantages of this invention will be readily apparent from the exemplary embodiments thereof presented in the following specification, claims, and drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The accompanying drawing shown present preferred embodiments of this invention, in which f FIG. I is a perspective view illustrating one exemplary embodiment of the package construction of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating components of the package construction of FIG. 1 suitable assembled together to define a ball tee member and showing a ball comprising such package construction supported on an annular surface provided. at the top of the ball tee member;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view illustrating the manner in which the base of the ball tee member of FIG. 2 is assembled;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view with parts in cross section and parts broken away illustrating another exemplary embodiment of a tubular ball tee member and modified strap means or straps which may comprise a package construction similar to the package construction of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view illustrating a smaller diameter tubular member which is provided as a part of the package construction of FIG. I being used as a vertically slidable member at the top of the tee to define an annular ball-supporting surface which is adjustable to an infinite number of vertical heights;
FIG. 6 is a plan view with the central portion thereof broken away of a strap means comprising the package of FIG. 1 and used in the package for detachably securing one or more balls in the package construction yet defining the base of the tee made from such package; and
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 5 illustrating another exemplary embodiment of a smaller diameter tubular member which'may comprise the package construction of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS Reference is now made to FIG. 1 of the drawing which illustrates one exemplary embodiment of a package construction of this invention which is designated generally by the reference numeral 10. The package construction 10 comprises an outer tubular ball tee member 11 'which' is illustrated as being made of a transparent plastic material and the tubular member 11 has a bat 12for hitting a ball off of the tee member 11 carried in telescoped relation within the member 11 and the maximum outside diameter of the bat and insidediameter of the tubular member 11 are such that the bat may be easily inserted within the tubular member 11.
The tubular member 11 has opposed ends 13 and 14 and at least one ball 15 and in this example a plurality of two balls 15 are provided adjacent its end 14 in aligned relation therewith. Means in the form of a pair of elongated strap means or straps 16 are provided as a part of the package construction 10 and are used for detachably securing the balls 15 to the end 14 of the tubular member 11. The securing means or straps l6 serve not only as a means for holding the balls 15 in position at the end of the transparent tubular member 11 but also are useable to form a base means or base designated generally by the reference numeral 20 in FIG. 2 for an overall tee 21 made using various components of the package construction 10.
The tubular member 11 has means 22 at one of its ends, shown as end 13 in this example, for receiving the strap means or straps 16 so that such straps 16 when forming the base 20 of the tee 21 will extend outwardly from the tubular member 11 and assure that the tubular member 11 will be disposed in its upright manner. The means 22 in the tubular member 11 may be slit means 23 defined simply as a pair of diametrically arranged rectilinear slits or cuts 23 or such slit means may be a pair of diametrically arranged slots 23 having a small width for receiving a double thickness defined by two straps, see FIG. 3. In applications where slits are used it is necessary to wedge each strap in position and the wedging action helps hold the strap in place. Each slit means 23 has a height indicated at 24 which corresponds to the width or what may also be considered the height of the straps 16 as illustrated at 26 in FIG. 3, whereby the bottom edges of the installed straps 16 are roughly coplanar with end 13 or in a plane outwardly thereof. Each strap 16 has slit means which may be a slit 27 at each end thereof and an opening 30 adjacent each slit. Each strap 16 is formed into a substantially circular configuration and the slits 27 moved past each other so that strap portions 31 on opposite side of one slit 27 engage an associated area 32 of the strap 16 which is located inwardly of the other slit 27 while simultaneously the openings 30 are arranged in aligned relation. The two straps 16 in circular form are then positioned within the slit means 27 to define a looped configuration having substantially the form of a FIG. 8, and as will be apparent from FIG. 2 of the drawing. The two straps have their openings 30 arranged in aligned relation within the tubular member 11 as shown in FIG. 3 and a tie member or string 33 may extend therethrough and through diametrically opposed openings 35 in member 11 and has its ends tied in a knot 38 to help hold the base 20 in position at the bottom of the tubular member 1 1.
In the packageconstruction thestraps 16 are arranged perpendicular to each other, looped around the two balls of such package construction, and theterminal end portions 36 of such straps 16 are inserted within the tubular member 11 as illustrated at 36. The bat 12 is inserted in telescoped relation within the tubular member 11 and the outside diameter of the bat 12 at its hitting end portion 37 and the inside diameter of the tubular member 11 are such that the strap portions 36 are sandwiched therebetween and hold the straps 16, balls 15, and bat 12 in position without requiring other fasteners. However, it will be appreciated that the straps 16 may have their end portions 36 arranged externally of the tubular member 11 and in this latter instance, the fastening string 33 may be employed to tie the straps 16 against the outside surface of member 11 with the balls 15 in position or a suitable adhesive tape, or other fastening material may be employed for this purpose.
In some instances where an adjustable height tee is preferred it may be desirable to provide a tubular member 40 which may also be made of a transparent material and member 40 is carried within the tubular member 11. The member 40 is dimensioned so that it telescopes concentrically around the outside of the handle portion 41 of the bat 12 and telescopes concentrically within the tubular member 11 and the manner in which the tubular member 40 is used will be described in detail subsequently.
All component partsto the package construction 10 are readily useable whereby a user is not purchasing packaging materials as is the usual case. The user of the package construction 10 merely pulls the balls 15 and straps 16 away from one end portion of the tubular member 11 and removes the bat and tubular member 40. The straps 16 are then looped into circular configurations, arranged within slits 23 with their openings 30 in aligned relation, and tied in position with the fastening string 33 as described earlier whereupon the base of tee 21 is defined. The tee 21 may then be supported on its base and a ball 15 supported on the annular surface provided at end 14 and hit in the usual manner.
As previously suggested, a tee which is adjustable in height may be desirable in some instances and for this purpose member 40 is provided. The tubular member 40 is inserted in telescoped relation within the end portion 14 of the tubular member 11 and the dimensions of the tubular members 11 and 40 are such that member 40 is frictionally held in position in any desired vertical position as shown in FIG. 5 and may be substantially infinitely adjustable over a height'wherein the top annular surface 45 of member 40 is flush with end 14 to a maximum height position where member 40 extends above the top end 14 and with only a minimum overlap between members 11 and 40 with such minimum overlap being sufficient to assure the members are held in position even though the top of the tee 21 is repeatedly hit with a ball bat.
Thus, by utilizing the tubular member 40 the same basic tee may be used by ball players of different heights and where these ball players desire to precisely position the ball 15 for easier hitting.
As previously indicated the members 11 and 40 may be made of a transparent material and by making such members of a transparent material a ball 15 supported on tee 21 appears to be suspended in mid air whereby a batter may hit such ball with minimum distraction by the tee. However, it will be appreciated that it is not necessary that the tubular member 11 and/or member 40 be made of any suitable material including opaque or nontransparent materials.
Further, it will be appreciated that the components 1 l, 40 and 16 may be made of any suitable material and are preferably made of nonmetallic materials such as paper, elastomeric materials such as natural or synthetic rubber and plastic materials, etc.
The material used to make the straps 16 is such that when they are formed in their circular configurations and the tee 21 made using straps 16 is knocked over the circular straps will readily collapse or flatten when a person falls thereon whereby injury to such person is prevented. Once the flattened strap is released it will return to its original configuration. In addition, it is also preferred that the tubular members 11 and 40 be readily compressible or collapsible and resilient in charac ter so that the person falling thereon will not beinjured and once the weight of the person is removed the members 11 and 40 will return to their original configuratrons.
The package construction 10 lends itself to packaging of lightweight tee-defining components, lightweight plastic bats, lightweight balls and the like. In addition, such package construction lends itself to the packaging of regulation ball bats and regulation balls whether softballs, baseballs and the like.
Further, as an incentive to purchase a regulation bat, forexample, and one or more balls, a manufacturer could (due to theminimal costs involved) offer the tee defining components 11, 16 and 40 free of charge.
In those applications where the tubular member 11 is made of a transparent plastic material and having properties as described above a regulation ball bat, such as a metal bat, may be viewed by a potential purchaser, yet such bat is protected against scratches, nicks, etc. I
Reference is now made to FIG. 7 of the drawing which illustrates a modified version of the tubular member 40 which is designated generally by the reference numeral 40M and may be used interchangeably with the member 40 to provide a tee of adjustable height. The member 40M may be made of any suitable material including transparent plastic materials, or the like, and such member has a substantially frustoconical upper portion 47M which defines a reduced diameter annular ball-supporting surface 50M. The reduced diameter surface 50M is particularly adapted to support a ball which may be a regulation ball such as a baseball, a comparatively small diameter lightweight ball, a sponge rubber ball, or the like, so that the ball may be easily hit with a ball bat because the reduced diameter annular surface 50M assures that the ball is not nested too far within the tubular member 40M.
The member 40M may be telescoped within the tubular member 11 in a similar manner as the tubular member 40 and with its frustoconical portion 47M arranged outwardly so that once an associated package construction has the balls and straps 16 fastened in position adjacent end 14 and the member 40M fastened in position adjacent end 13 and bat 12 comprising such a package construction is effectively retained within the tubular member 11.
It will also be appreciated that in applications where a tubular member such as member 40 or 40M is not provided as a component of the package construction 10 the tubular member 11 may be provided with a frustoconical portion such as frustoconical portion 47M to define a reduced diameter annular surface which is particularly adapted to support a comparatively small diameter ball thereon in a non-nesting relation. in those applications where a tubular member 11 is provided with a reduced diameter end portion such as a frustoconical end portion the reduced diameter portion would preferably define the end 14 and the balls 15 and straps 16 would be provided at the end 13 of member 11 whereby a bat 12 within member 11 would be confined against axial movement and effectively retained within tubular member 11.-
In the above description reference has been made to the utilization of a substantially frustoconical terminal end portion for either member 40M or tubular member 11 to provide ball-supporting means which would support a ball on the tee in a non-nested relation to assure easier hitting thereof. However, it will be appreciated that any suitable means may be provided for this purpose.
The straps 16 of the package construction 10 are shown held in position to define the base of the tee 21 using the string 33; however, it will be appreciated that by modifying the tubular member 11 and straps a string or similar fastener need not necessarily be provided. In particular, reference is made to FIG. 4 of the drawing which illustrates a tubular member 11A which may be used interchangeably with member 11 together with straps 16A which are used with member 11A. The straps 16A have reduced width or height end portions 52A which are provided with slits 27A similar to the slits 27 previously described and the slits 27A function in a similar manner.
The tubular member 11A has diametrically opposed roughly rectangular slots 54A which have a height corresponding to the height 55A of the reduced height portions. Each strap has a shoulder 56A at the base of each portion 52A which limits movement of portion 52A within the tubular member the portions52A are dimensioned based on the diameter of the tubular member 11A and the position of slits 27A similarly dimensioned so that the end portions 52A may extend through slots 52A and such portions interlocked using slits 27A as shown at 57A. Thus, each of the two strap members 16A extending through the two opposed slots 54A is prevented from coming apart by the interlocking made possible by its slits 27A and each interlocked strip 16A is held at the base of member 11A by the opposed top and bottom edges 60A of the slots 54A. The two strap members 16A are thus also arranged in a substantially FIG. 8 configuration.
While present exemplary embodiments of this invention, and methods of practicing the same, have been illustrated and described, it will be recognized that this invention may be otherwise variously embodied and practiced within the scope of the following claims:
What is claimed is:
l. A package construction comprising a tubular baseball and softball tee member, and a bat for hitting a ball off of said tee member, said bat being telescoped into said tee member and being of a generally conventional baseball and softball type ballbat configuration, attachment means detachably securing a ball to one end of said tee member, said attachment means also being utilizable for subsequently forming a base means for said tee member so that said tee member can be set in an upright manner on said base means.
2. A package construction as set forth in claim 1 including a ball detachably secured to said tee by said attachment means.
3. A package construction as set forth in claim 2 wherein said tee member has opposed ends, said ball being disposed at one of said ends of said tee member in aligned relation therewith.