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Publication numberUS3889379 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 17, 1975
Filing dateFeb 6, 1974
Priority dateFeb 6, 1974
Publication numberUS 3889379 A, US 3889379A, US-A-3889379, US3889379 A, US3889379A
InventorsCline Lee R
Original AssigneeCline Lee R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Aid for making a baseball batters{3 {0 box
US 3889379 A
Abstract
A device for producing a baseball batters' box comprising a two-piece frame one portion of which is extensible relative to the other. The frame has ground engaging hinge means whereby the frame can be aligned with respect to home plate, the hinge means pressed into the ground, and the frame flipped 180 DEG . The outer limits of both positions of the frame provide the outline of the batters' box.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent n91 Cline 1 June 17, 1975 i 1 AID FOR MAKING A BASEBALL BATTERS BOX [76] Inventor: Lee R. Cline, 156 Locust Ln., Cadiz,

Ohio 43907 221 Filed: Feb. 6, 1974 21 Appl.No.:440,2S9

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 925,0!4 Murnane 273/25 Brownell 4 4 33/174 G Gatineau 33/174 G Primary ExaminerRichard E. Aegerter Assistant Examiner-Richard R. Stearns [57] ABSTRACT A device for producing a baseball batters box comprising a two-piece frame one portion of which is extensible relative to the other. The frame has ground engaging hinge means whereby the frame can be aligned with respect to home plate, the hinge means pressed into the ground, and the frame flipped 180. The outer limits of both positions of the frame provide the outline of the batters box.

5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures x E E o o AID FOR MAKING A BASEBALL BATTERS BOX BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to the maintenance of baseball playing fields, and more particularly to an aid for quickly producing regulation size batters boxes therefor.

The size and position of baseball batters boxes vary depending upon whether the playing field is to be used for softball or for hardball. and will further vary in size and/or position depending upon the regulations of the league governing the game that is to be played on the field. The outline of the baseball batters box is dusted on the ground. since there can be no permanent structure which would catch the foot of the players. The dust which is used is normally quicklime or rock dust. A further reason why lime is used is that the residue does not have to be gathered up following a game and disposed of. but can be easiy spread around and washed in the ground to be harmlessly dissipated in a manner that is beneficial to the surrounding grass. The grass is normally fertilized with acid-producing inorganic fertilizers and a certain amount of lime is required to neutralize the acid ingredients ofthc fertilizer. The amount of water that is required ofthe grass i.e.. natural occurring rain or irrigation is usually sufficient to wash away the deteriorated lime stripes to make the ground ready for the next lime striping of the batters box. This is usu ally done approximately onchalf hour before a game is to commence.

Because the outline of the batters box must be renewed before each game in accordance with the size that is required by the league governing the game that is to be played, a considerable amount of time is spent before each game in laying out and striping the outline of the batters box. Since the game was first developed in the early l800s, the striping of the batters box has been accomplished by laying out the outline of the batters' box with a measuring device such as a folding rule, and thereafter rolling a striper which applies the lime or rock dust onto the ground along the outline.

An object of the present invention is the provision of new and improved apparatus which is a fraction of the size of a batters box and can be easily moved from playing field to playing field, and which after a few minor and easily performed adjustments, will provide an outline of the particular size batters box that is required for the particular game that is to be played.

A further object of the invention is the provision of new and improved apparatus of the above-described type which is easily transportable and which is capable of providing the outline of several sizes of regulation batters boxes by merely making one or more minor, quick and easy adjustments.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art to which the invention relates from the following description of several preferred embodiments described with reference to the accompanying drawings:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a plan view of a preferred embodiment of apparatus embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view taken approximately on the line 22 of FIG. I;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken approximately on the line 3-3 of FIG. I;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary enlarged view as seen from line 4-l4 of FIG. I; and

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the lines 5-5 of FIG. I.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS As previously mentioned, batters boxes vary somewhat in size depending upon the regulations of the league which governs the particular game to be played. Regardless of the league, however, the size of the bat ters box is approximately 4 feet by 6 feet. A template such size cannot be conveniently transported from one location to another, nor can it be used at a particular location for making more than one size batters box. For these reasons templates have never been accepted as a workable aid for outlining a batters box; and to my knowledge, no one has ever devised a practical way of laying out a batters box with a device that is a fraction of the size of the batters box.

The device shown in the drawing for outlining a batters box for a baseball playing field comprises a U- shaped base frame 10 having a width which is one-half of the regulation sizes of batters boxes which it is capable of producing. The U-shaped frame comprises a base 12 and a pair of parallel legs 14. The frame 10 is constructed so that the spacing of appropriate portions of the legs 14 correspond with one-half of the appropriate width dimension of a batters box. In the embodiment shown in the drawing, and for reasons which will later be explained, the distance between the center line of the legs 14 will correspond with one-half of the width of a batters box as determined by the distance between the center line of the stripes of the batters box that is to be made. A U-shaped spacer 16 is fixed to one leg 14 of the base frame 10 in any suitable manner as by welding. The spacer 16 has a length 18 corresponding to the length of one of the parallel side edges of the home plate B, and has lateral legs 20 adapted to space the leg 14 to which it is connected the appropriate distance from the side edge of home plate. The U-shaped spacer 16 is affixed to the leg I4 longitudinally thereof the appropriate distance from its base leg 12, so that the base leg 12 will be positioned the appropriate distance toward the pitcher from the home plate in all instances. The outlining aid also includes a U-shaped closure frame 22 having a cross member 24 of the same width as is base 12 and having a pair of legs 26 having a sliding engagement with the legs 14 of the base frame 10. In the embodiment shown the legs of the base frame 12 are slightly longer than one-half of the length of the maximum length batters box to be outlined by the device, and the legs 26 are approximately one-half the length of the maximum size batters box to be produced. Alternatively, it is possible that the legs 14 or 26 or both be made of a plurality of telescoping members, so that the device 10 can have a length that is a quarter or a third of the length of the batters box that is to be produced.

As previously indicated. the legs 26 are to be guided by the legs 14 in some suitable manner for movement longitudinally of each other. and in the preferred embodiment. the legs 14 are tubular and of a circular cross section. The legs 26 are of a smaller tubular size and telescope into the legs I4, so that the center line of the legs 26 are coaxial with the center line of the legs I4 for reasons which will later be described.

According to principles of the present invention, the legs 14 of the base frame that is opposite to the leg containing the spacer 16 is equipped with one or more ground engaging hinge devices H which grip the ground so that the frame can be rotated 180 around the hinge and so that the leg 14 containing the spacer 16 can also be used to outline the opposite side edge of the batters' box. The device further includes lock means for fixing the cross member 24 an appropriate distance from the base 12. In the embodiment shown in the drawing, the lock means comprises a pair of pins 28 which are inserted through holes 30 and 32 in the legs 14 and 26 respectively, and which are drilled at the appropriate location to automatically provide the regulation length of the various size batters boxes. In order that the frame can be used for various lengths of batters boxes, holes 30 (see FIG. 4) at different locations along the legs 14 are provided, while a single indentation or hole 32 is provided in the legs 26. When the legs 26 are moved so that the appropriate holes 30 align with the holes 32 and the pins 28 are installed in the aligned holes 30 and 32, there is automatically provided the desired length batters box in a foolproof manner. It is intended that the various holes 30 will be appropriately labeled for the different regulation sizes of batters boxes.

FIG. 3 of the drawings shows a preferred embodiment of hinge means H that is used for hinging the leg 14 to the ground. The hinge means H shown comprises a hoop 34 which extends around the leg 14 and carries a pin 36 which can be forced into the ground when perpendicular to the frame to thereafter prevent lateral movement of the frame. In the preferred arrangement, at least two of such hinge means H are provided. By utilizing a pair of such hinge means H, one hinge can be positioned against the base 12 and the other can be positioned against a suitable abutment, i.e., the stiffening member 40, located near the opposite end of the base frame 10, so that longitudinal movement of the frame will be automatically avoided when the hinge pins 36 are pressed into the ground.

The device described above is used by placing the device shown in the drawing along side of the home plate B with the length 18 of the U-shaped gauge bar 16 up against one side edge of the home plate B and with the base of the U-shaped frame 10 positioned toward the playing field. Substantially all regulations require the front edge of the batters box to be the same distance forwardly of home plate, but there is some difference in the spacing of the rear end of the batters box from home plate. Since this is so, the device is first adjusted by aligning the appropriate hole 30 for the size of the batters box to be produced opposite the hole 32 in the closure frame 22 and installing the pin 28. This is done on both legs of the apparatus. With the length 18 ofthe guide bar 16 positioned up against the side edge of the home plate B. the ground engaging hinge means H are pushed in opposite directions against the base and the stiffening member 40 with the pins 36 extending perpendicularly downwardly against the ground. The pins 36 are thereafter forced into the ground as by stepping upon the leg 14 on which they are mounted. With the hinge means H against the base 12 and stiffening mem ber 40 and with the pins 36 stuck into the ground. the entire structure is prevented from movement longitudinally or laterally from home plate. Once so secured to the ground. the user scribes around the legs 14 and 26 that are adjacent home plate, base 12. and cross mcm her 24 to produce half an outline of the batters box on the ground in proper position relative to the home plate B. In the preferred embodiment, the closure frame 22 is tubular or rod shaped in section and the U-shaped base frame 10 is tubular in section with the legs 26 telescoped into the legs 14 ofthe base frame 10. Such construction makes the center line of the closure frame 22 coincident with the center line of the base frame 12, so that the center line of the frame is precise. The user may use a nail or other object as a scribe and drag it around the inside or the outside of the device to produce the outline on the ground.

After the outline above described has been made, the frame is rotated 180 about the hinge means H to produce the other half of the batters box. In this new position. the user again scribes around the base 12, cross member 24, and legs 14 and 26 that are now positioned farthest from the batters box B so that the outer periphery of the outline coincides with the desired center line of the striping of the batters box that is to be produced. Thereafter the apparatus is lifted from the ground and a conventional line striping machine is run over the outline of the ground to produce the striped batters box.

It will be understood that the batters box on the other side of the home plate B is produced in a similar manner by positioning the length 18 of the gauge bar 16 against the opposite side of the home plate B and with the hinge pins 36 stuck into the ground when the bar is so positioned. The frame is rotated l as was done previously to give the total imprint for the other batters box. Preferably the imprints of both batters boxes are first made and the device moved free and clear of the field. Thereafter the lime striper is used to outline both batters boxes without interruption.

The regulation batters boxes of some leagues differ in width from those required in other leagues. The frame of the present invention can be made adjustable in width, and in the preferred embodiment shown in the drawings. the cross member 24, the stiffening member 40, and the base member 12 are made adjustable so that they can vary in length from 18 inches to 24 inches. The frame can therefore be used to make batters' boxes varying in width from 3 feet to 4 feet. FIG. 5 of the drawings shows the construction used for the base leg 12, and stiffening member 40, and it will be understood that a similar construction is used for the cross member 24.

in the embodiment shown, these members are made in two sections (split) and the two sections are joined by a short section of tubing 42 which acts as tubular dowel over which the sections of the appropriate cross member are telescoped. One end of the dowel tube 42 has an opening 44 therethrough which is aligned with another opening that extends through the short section of the base 12 or stiffening member 40. as the case may be. A suitable machine bolt 48 extends through the aligned openings 44 and 46 and is fastened in place for a more or less permanent retention of the dowel tube 42. The other end of the dowel pin 42 is provided with at least two holes 50 and 52 therethrough which are 6 inches apart. The sections of the member 12 or 40, as the case may be, which is telescoped over the dowel tube 42 is provided with an opening 54 that is aligned with one of the openings 50 and 52, and another machine bolt 56 is inserted through the aligned openings. in the embodiment shown. the openings 50 and 54 are aligned to provide a width of l8 inches for forming a batters box 3 feet wide.

It will now be seen that the invention has made it possible to produce batters boxes of various sizes using an outlining device having a size that is a fraction of the size of a batters box. The problem of shifting and mis match are prevented by the hinge means which prevents movement while the frame is being rotated. This is particularly so, when the user places his foot upon the leg 14 on which the hinge means 34 is mounted before the frame is rotated.

It will now be apparent that the objects heretofore enumerated, as well as others. have been accomplished and that there has been provided a new and improved means for outlining a baseball batters box with a device that is a fraction of the size of the batters box to be made; and which overcomes the problems that have prevented the art heretofore from using a pattern.

While the invention has been described in considerable detail. I do not wish to be limited to the particular embodiment shown and described, and it is my intention to cover hereby all novel adaptations. modifications, and arrangements thereof which come within the practice of those skilled in the art to which the invention relates and which are covered by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A transportable device for use in making a baseball batters box outline comprising: a U-shaped base frame having a pair of generally parallel legs connected by an end cross member, a pair of spaced apart pins hinged to one leg of said base frame, a gauge bar generally parallcl to said legs and spaced to the side of said other leg opposite from said one leg. means connecting said gauge bar to said other leg, a U-shaped closure frame having a pair of generally parallel legs connected by an end cross member. said frames being positioned with their legs extending towards each other's base. and means slidably connecting said legs of said closure frame to respective legs of said base frame.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said legs of said base frame are hollow and said legs of said closure frame slide therein, and said device including means for locking said legs of said closure frame against sliding. and movement with respect to said respective legs of said base frame.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein said hollow legs of said base frame are tubular and have a cross section that is generally round.

4. The device of claim 2 wherein said means for locking said legs against endwise movement comprises at least one hole through a leg of the base frame, a pin for inserting through said hole, and an indentation in the cooperating leg of said closure frame adapted to receive said pin, said indentation in said cooperating leg being constructed and arranged to automatically provide a predetermined length between said end cross members when said indentation in said closure frame is aligned with said hole in said base frame.

5. The device of claim 4 having a plurality of spaced holes in said leg of said base frame whereby a number of respective size batters box outlines can be provided by aligning said indentation with respective ones of said holes in said base frame.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US925014 *Jul 2, 1907Jun 15, 1909Michael J ReganBase-ball-field marker.
US2679691 *Jan 23, 1950Jun 1, 1954Brownell William EShrub trimming guide
US2733513 *Jun 24, 1953Feb 7, 1956 gatineau
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4463950 *Oct 10, 1980Aug 7, 1984Elkin Orville EBatting practice trainer
US4510692 *Mar 18, 1983Apr 16, 1985Overholser Duane JCombined batters' and catcher's box marking frame
US4937949 *Dec 29, 1988Jul 3, 1990Kiefer Jon JBasketball court layout device
US5607150 *Dec 1, 1995Mar 4, 1997Schnorr, Iii; GeorgePortable batter's box
US5716295 *Jun 7, 1995Feb 10, 1998Anglea Turf Concepts, Inc.Device to build a pitcher's mound
US6206990Mar 23, 1999Mar 27, 2001William G. GlennApparatus for applying a masking element
US6253456Nov 17, 1997Jul 3, 2001Phillip CookseyBasketball court layout device and method
USRE38449Jul 31, 2002Mar 2, 2004Glenn William GApparatus for applying a masking element
Classifications
U.S. Classification33/562, 473/490
International ClassificationA63B69/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B69/0002
European ClassificationA63B69/00B