Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3858879 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 7, 1975
Filing dateJan 26, 1973
Priority dateJan 26, 1973
Publication numberUS 3858879 A, US 3858879A, US-A-3858879, US3858879 A, US3858879A
InventorsCandor James T, Tassone Joseph V
Original AssigneeCandor James T, Tassone Joseph V
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ball tee
US 3858879 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Candor et al.

1 BALL TEE [76] Inventors: James T. Candor, 5440 Cynthia Ln.,

Dayton, Ohio 45429; Joseph V. Tassone, 2425 Rawndale Rd., Kettering, Ohio 45440 [22] Filed: Jan. 26, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 326,806

[52] U.S. C1. 273/26 R, 206/315 [51] Int. Cl A63b 69/40 [58] Field of Search 273/26 R, 26 E, 95 A;

46/11, 32; 206/D1G. 9; 215/100 R, 99, 99.5; 119/109, 120; 222/566 OTHER PUBLICATIONS Lamp Journal, Cornell Lamp and Shade Co., Sept.

[4 1 Jan. 7, 1975 Primary Examiner-George J. Nlarlo Assistant Examiner-Theatrice Brown Attorney, Agent, or FirmCandor, Candor & Tassone [57] ABSTRACT A ball tee made from a plastic jug and milk-type container originally utilized to contain a milk or other liquid product with the container having a tubular pour spout opening above a bottom wall thereof and a tubular ball tee means telescoped in the pour spout opening to be supported thereby and project out of the same so that when the bottom wall of the container is suitably disposed on a support surface, the ball tee means will be disposed in an upright manner so that a ball can be hit off an upper end of the ball tee means by a ball bat, the tubular ball tee means comprising a conventional golf club shaft tubular protector that normally receives the shaft therein when the club is stored in a golf bag.

4 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures BALL TEE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The popularity of ball games such as baseball, softball, and the like, is well known; however, particularly with young children starting at roughly age 5, it is difficult to play these ball games because a pitcher and a catcher are required. At the above-mentioned age and even with some children as old as roughly years of age, it is dangerous to have a catcher stand too close to a young batter swinging a bat because of the poor control which such batter has over the bat. Further, particularly in baseball, young pitchers do not have the ability or physical strength to consistently pitch a ball across home plate to assure that the game will progress at reasonable speed. In addition, with the increased number of arm injuries in recent years, such as socalled Little League elbow, it is desirable to reduce the pitching stress on the arms of young children.

Therefore, a modified form of baseball, popularly referred to as tee ball, has been introduced for young children and has had remarkable success. As the name suggests, the game is played with a ball supported on a tee and struck with a bat while the tee is placed on home plate of a regular ball diamond. The ball is usually supported at about waist height to enable the batter to make easy contact with the ball with a smooth, even swing.

With this arrangement the pitcher is not required to pitch the ball and in actual play is required to keep one foot on the pitching rubber until a batter hits the ball, whereupon he may move away from the rubber to field the ball or otherwise assist in defensive play. Similarly, the catcher is required to stand a considerable distance away from the tee on home plate (and a swinging bat) where he is less likely to be injured by the batter. Once the ball is hit, the catcher assumes the normal defensive role of a catcher.

Generally the basic rules which govern play in major league baseball, as played in the United States, apply to tee ball, with modifications such as mentioned above to enable use of a tee. In addition, for young boys the bases are usually 60 feet apart in the usual diamond pattern and the pitchers rubber is 45 feet from home plate.

In most instances the infield positions are the same as played by major league baseball teams; however, the outfield positions may vary in number from the usual 3 to as many as 5, where it is desired to allow participation by more players. Also, to prevent a particular team from remaining at bat too long, limitations are usually placed as to the number of batters that may bat in a given innning and this number is usually the number of players on the team. Thus, with teams of eleven players each, once the eleventh player comes to bat and regardless of the number of outs prior to that time, after the ball is in play as the result of the eleventh batters action, all action and scoring are stopped merely by playing the ball home and tagging home plate.

Tee ball games may vary in length to suit local situations; however, they are usually six innings in length, and a complete six inning game with the home team batting in the sixth may be completed usually within roughly one and one-half hours.

It will be appreciated that in order for tee ball to be successful it is necessary to have a tee that a young batter will not be afraid to hit with a regular baseball bat because it might sting his hands. In addition, it is desirable that the tee be such that it supports the ball at a height, in the strike zone, where it may be easily hit with a level swing.

It is generally quite difficult for a young ball player to improve his batting skills for either tee ball or regulation baseball and softball while playing alone and various comparatively expensive ball toss-up devices and stationary tees have been proposed heretofore. These previously proposed ball toss-up devices are generally unsatisfactory because they do not permit a young batter to assume a correct initial stance nor is it possible to teach a young player to move into the ball in the desired manner while swinging a. ball bat.

Many of the previously proposed stationary tees are categorically unsafe and should not be used. Others of Such tees, though safe, may involve considerable expense throughout the course of a baseball season and it is one object of this invention to drastically reduce such expense.

SUMMARY This invention provides an improved combination heretofore unknown which provides a young ball player with means of negligible cost which enables such ball player to improve his or her batting skills by utilizing container means which ordinarily would be dis carded.

In particular, this invention provides a combination and method of making same which employs a plastic jug and milk-type container means that originally was utilized for containing milk-like or other liquid product means with the container means having a tubular pour spout opening disposed above a bottom wall means of the container means and a ball tee means telescoped in the pour spout opening to be supported thereby and project out of the same so that when the bottom wall means of the container means is disposed on a support surface the ball tee means will be disposed in an upright manner so that a ball can be hit off an upper end of the same by a ball bat whereby the container means provides a base means for the tee means, the tubular ball tee means comprising a conventional golf club shaft tubular protector that normally receives the shaft therein when the club is stored in a golf bag.

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 shows present preferred embodiments of this invention, in which FIG. I is a perspective view illustrating one exemplary embodiment of an improved combination defining a ball tee in accordance with this invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view with parts in cross section and parts in elevation taken essentially on line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view looking substantially perpendicularly toward the bottom of a container similar to the container of FIG. 1 which has means enabling the cutting of a plurality of openings of different diameters for receiving ball tee means therethrough;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view of the upper portion of the container of FIG. 3 and having means enabling the cutting of a plurality of openings having diameters which correspond to the diameters of the openings in the bottom wall;

FIG. 5 is a view with parts in cross section, parts in elevation, and parts broken away of a modification of the ball tee of this invention; and

FIG. 6 is a view with parts in cross section, parts in elevation, and parts broken away illustrating another exemplary embodiment of the ball tee of this invention.

DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS Reference is now made to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawing which illustrates one exemplary embodiment of an improved combination, and method of making same, of this invention which will be referred to generally as a ball tee 20 and is particularly adapted to support a ball B thereon. The ball tee 20 comprises container means or a container 21 that originally was utilized for containing product means and as will be apparent from FIG. 1, the container 21 of this example was originally used for containing milk. The container means or container 21 has support means therein and ball tee means in the form of a ball-supporting member which in this example is a tubular structure or member 22, and the member 22 is operatively interconnected with the support means of container 21 so that when container 21 is disposed on a support surface S, (which may be any ground surface, home plate of a regulation baseball diamond, any indoor floor or surface, etc.) the ball tee means or tubular member 22 will be disposed in a substantially vertical upright manner so that the ball B can be hit off of the tubular member 22 using a ball bat. The ball bat used for this purpose may be in the form of a regulation wooden bat, metal bat, lightweight plastic bat, fiberglass bat or other suitable bat.

The container 21 has upper wall means 23 and an annular surface 24 in such wall means 23 which defines opening means or an opening 25 which is adapted to receive the tubular structure 22 in telescoped relation therethrough.

The container 21 has another wall means or bottom wall 26 which is disposed between the upper wall means or wall 23 and the support surface S and the wall 26 has an annular surface 27 which defines an opening 30 which is particularly adapted to receive the tubular structure 22 therethrough, whereby the tubular structure 22 is supported by the container 21 in two vertically spaced apart locations and may be considered as being supported substantially in two spaced apart horizontal planes.

The tee means or tubular structure 22 has means in the form of a bead-like flange 32 for abutting against the outside outwardly concave surface 35 of the wall 26 to prevent the tubular structure or tee means 22 from being pulled through the container 21 in one direction. The beadlike flange 32 may be defined by flaring the terminal bottom portion of the tubular structure 22 outwardly to define a diameter larger than the diameter of the opening 30. In addition, such bead-like flange 32 may be provided with a reinforcing member in the form of a reinforcing ring 33 which has a terminal outer portion of the material defining tubular structure 22 folded therearound.

It may also be desired, in some applications of this invention, to provide integral means in the bottom wall 26 for fastening the flange 32 tightly against the outside surface of the bottom wall. Such integral means may be in the form ofa flange having a roughly L-shaped crosssectional configuration with the flange 32 being snapfitted beneath a leg of the L-shaped flange.

The container 21 is shown in FIG. 1 as being in the form ofa milk carton and the cross hatching thereof indicates that it is made of an elastomeric material such as plastic, and such plastic material is usually comparatively non-rigid. However, it will be appreciated that the container 21 may be any suitable container made of a non-breakable plastic material or similar mateial and often commonly used not only to contain milk but also distilled water, products used to launder clothes, fruit juices, and numerous other products whether for commercial or home use. To assist a young batter in the direction in which he or she will hit a ball off of the tee 20 with an associated bat, suitable marking means in the form of lines or arrows 34 may be placed on one or both sides of the container 21. By using a line or arrow 34 a young batter may assume a stance adjacent the tee 20 with an imaginary line adjoining the front tips of the batters shoes being arranged parallel to the arrow 34 to thereby aid the batter in the direction in which he will hit the ball.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 3 and 4 which illustrate views of a modified container which is designated generally by the reference numeral 21M and such container may be provided with suitable means which may be marking in its bottom wall 26M and its upper wall means or wall 23M for receiving tubular structures similar to the tubular structure 22 and such marking means enable defining associated openings in the associated wall of different diameters. In particular, it will be seen from FIG. 3 that a plurality of three concentric marking means 36M, 37M and 38M are provided in the bottom wall 26M and each of such marking means may be in the form of concentric inked lines, concentric annular ridges having a wall thickness greater than the wall thickness of the wall 26M, or concentric score or weakening means having a wall thickness which is smaller than the thickness of wall 26M. The marking means 36M, 37M, and 38M are adapted to be used with marking means 41M, 42M, and 43M respectively in the upper wall means 23M of the container 21M and as with the marking means 36M, 37M, and 38M the marking means 41M, 42M, or 43M may be inked lines, raised surface means, score means, or the like.

In actual use, once the outside diameter of the tubular structure to be used with container 21M is known, the corresponding marking means in both the bottom wall 26M and the upper wall means 23M is selected and cut to enable such tubular structure to be inserted therethrough so as to provide a comparatively snug fit therebetween and define a tee similar to the tee 20.

Another modification of the tee of this invention is illustrated in FIG. 5 wherein the container 21 is employed together with a structure 22M which is comparatively smaller in diameter than the normal pour opening or spout of the container 21. The structure 22M may be either tubular or solid and employs an adaptor 44 which has a right circular cylindrical inside surface 45 which allows comparatively free yet snug sliding movement of the tubular structure 22M therethrough and the adaptor 44 has an outside substantially frustoconical surface 46 which provides a tight fit between the annular surface 24 and the surface 46 to assure the tubular structure 22M is held in an upright manner. With the adaptor 44 a structure 22M may be made of a particular container 21 and its associated tubular structure 22M.

In those instances where the outside diameter of the member 22M is made very small so that it may be employed with containers 21 having comparatively small pour openings through the upper wall means 23 thereof, the structure 22 may be provided, if desired, with suitable (either integral or detachable) cup-like support or the like to enable a ball B to be supported thereon in a more stable manner.

The combination defining the tee 20A is shown in FIG. 6 and comprises container means in the form of a container 21A having lower or bottom wall means 26A and upper wall means 23A provided with an annular surface 24A defining an opening 25A through which a ball tee means in the form of a tubular structure 22A is inserted. The bottom edge of the structure 22A rests on the inside surface of the bottom wall 26A.

Although the structure 22 may be made of a solid compressible material it is preferably a tubular structure which may be made of any suitable nonmetallic material such as cardboard, rubber, or other elastomeric materials such as thin walled plastic materials. The tubular structure comprising each of the tees 20, and 20A of this invention is made of a transparent material which allows a ball B to be supported thereon and gives the illusion that the ball is suspended in mid air.

In one application of this invention a tubular structure 22 was made of a tubular protector normally utilized to protect golf club shafts when such golf clubs are being carried and stored within the usual golf bag. Such a golf club shaft tubular protector 22 was used with an easily compressible or easily mashed plastic milk container 21 having the configuration shown in FIG. 1.

Each of the container means or containers comprising the various tees of this invention may have suitable ballast means placed therewithin and such ballast means may be in the form of dirt, sand, or the like to provide added weight at the base of the associated tee and prevent such a tee from being knocked over readily. However, it will be appreciated that it is preferred that the tee be comparatively easily knocked over. In some instances, it may be desirable to provide suitable seal means so that a liquid such as water may be used as ballast.

In the case of the tee 20A water may be poured in the associated container 21A and a seal is not required. Further, in the case of the container 21A a suitable bracing device of any known construction may be inserted within the container 21A or defined as an inwardly extending part in the bottom wall to prevent lateral shifting of the bottom of the tubular structure 22A.

Thus, it is seen that the tee of this invention is a unique combination of container means originally utilized for containing product means of various types and ball tee means which may be especially designed for the purpose or of the type utilized as a golf club shaft protector. Such a unique tee may be obtained at minimum cost inasmuch as container means normally utilized around a household define a major component of such a ball tee. Accordingly, young ball players may concentrate on developing their batting skills or use such a tee in playing tee ball at minimum expense.

It will also be apparent that suitable markings similar to the arrow 34 illustrated in FIG. 1 can be utilized to enable young ball players to concentrate on the direction in which to hit a ball B and on swinging a bat with a smooth level swing while keeping his or her eye on the ball with the back foot planted in a stationary manner yet moving the forward foot forwardly in the manner in which major league batting coaches often teach professional ball players.

It will be appreciated that to further assure a smooth level swing, the height of the ball-supporting tubular member, such as member 22, may be cut as desired.

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 ball tee comprising the combination of a plastic container base member and an elongated tubular ball support, said container base member having a tubular opening disposed above a bottom wall, said tubular ball support being telescopically received by said opening and supported thereby and extending vertically out of the same to a predetermined height thereabove so that when said container has said bottom wall disposed on a support surface. said tubular ball support will be disposed in an upright manner so a ball can be hit off the upper end thereof, said bottom wall being provided with means telescopically receiving and stabilizing the lower end of said tubular ball support.

2. A combination as set forth in claim I wherein said means of said bottom wall comprises an opening in said bottom wall that passes therethro'ugh, said tubular ball support having said lower end passing from inside said container out through said opening in said bottom wall to be disposed outside said container.

3. A combination as set forth in claim 2 wherein said tubular ball support has means abutting against the out side of said bottom wall to tend to prevent the pulling of said tubular ball support through said container in one direction, said means abutting against said bottom wall comprising a turned-over end of said tubular ball support.

4. A combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein said upper end of said tubular ball support is turned-over to provide reinforcement for the same, the lower end of said tubular ball support resting against the inside surface of said bottom wall.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2976041 *Aug 28, 1959Mar 21, 1961White John GBaseball practice standard
US3002308 *Jul 11, 1958Oct 3, 1961Emile Decamp AndreArtificial plant
US3166316 *Jun 10, 1963Jan 19, 1965Olos CorpBatting practice device comprising a tethered ball driven by a motor through a friction clutch
US3612027 *Feb 4, 1970Oct 12, 1971Makino GinjiRemotely controlled spring-type ball projecting device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4093226 *Oct 19, 1976Jun 6, 1978The Raymond Lee Organization, Inc.Dinkey game
US4364563 *Mar 30, 1981Dec 21, 1982Stafford David FEnergy dissipating ball tee
US6062989 *Apr 1, 1998May 16, 2000Wagner; Jay S.Adjustable golf teeing device
Classifications
U.S. Classification473/417, 215/386
International ClassificationA63B69/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2208/12, A63B69/0075
European ClassificationA63B69/00T1