This invention relates to baseball gloves, such as first basemen's gloves, catchers' mitts and fielders' finger gloves.
The conventional baseball glove is of such construction or design that after it has been received by the owner or user, it must be shaped or re-formed so as to produce a pocket or depression in the glove that conforms approximately to the curvature of the ball with which the glove is intended to be used, said shaping or re-forming operation usually being effected by mounting the glove on one hand of the user and then taking a ball, held in the other hand of the user, and striking said ball against the palm and heel portions of the glove, so as to de-form the glove and produce a socket or depression in same, in which a caught ball tends to seat itself and remain in the glove.
This method of producing a pocket in a baseball glove is apt to result in a pocket that is not deep enough or of such location and curvature as to effectively hold or retain a caught ball.
Moreover, a pocket produced by deforming the glove after it has been completed by the manufacturer and before it is put into use, is not permanent and is liable to change in shape, size and location.
The main object of our invention is to provide a baseball glove, which, in addition to having a built-in pocket, is of such construction that it can be easily adjusted to vary the shape, size and/or location of said pocket, thereby enabling the glove to be easily adapted to the user or to the user's particular method of catching a ball.
Figure 1 of the drawing is a plan view of a fingered baseball glove constructed in accordance with our invention; and Figure 2 is a sectional view, taken on the line 2-2 of Figure 1.
Our invention consists of a baseball glove provided with a ball-receiving pocket, depression or socket that is built into the glove during the operation of manufacturing the same, and means for enabling said pocket, depression or socket to be varied in shape, dimensions or location, or in any one or more items, so as to adapt the glove to the particular person using same, or to the particular way the user catches a ball. In the drawing we have illustrated a baseball glove provided with a built-in, adjustable pocket of the kind above referred to, the reference character A' designating the palm portion of the glove that constitutes the back wall or back stop of the pocket, and the reference character B' designating an adjustable or variable heel portion that constitutes a relatively deep curb or retaining wall at one side or one end of said pocket, whose wear-resisting surface merges into the wearresisting surface of the palm portion of the glove.
In other words, the shell x or outer casing of the glove is constructed so that there is a continuous piece of leather or other suitable material which extends unbrokenly over the palm portion of the glove and over the heel portion B' that forms a curb at the lower end or inner end of the palm portion. Hence, in appearance and in general design the glove resembles a baseball glove of conventional construction that has been shaped or re-formed by the user, as previously explained, inasmuch as the palm portion A' and heel portion B' merge into each other, and the wearresisting or ball contacting surfaces of both of said parts are formed from the same piece of leather. The heel portion B' may be of any preferred length, and if desired, may extend upwardly into the thumb C' and small finger D' of the glove.
In manufacturing our improved glove, the material that is used to pad the palm portion A' and the heel portion B' is arranged between the lining y or inner portion of the glove that contacts with the user's hand, and the part of the shell x that forms the front side of the glove, the outer edges or peripheral edges of these parts of the shell x and lining y being joined together by stitches z or in any other suitable way, as shown in Figure 2. Usually, said padding material will comprise a substantially flat pad I cut to the shape of the palm and fingers of the glove, and a curved or substantially U-shaped element superimposed upon and connected to the pad I at the lower end or inner end of same, said curved or U-shaped element being preferably formed from a strip 2 of suitable padding material that is folded or doubled upon itself before it is bent into U-form and attached to the pad I.
Various means may be used to modify the heel portion B' to change the depth and/or size of the pocket, or to alter the location or position of the pocket in the glove. One convenient way of constructing the glove is to equip it with one or more adjustable lacings disposed so as to produce or form, in effect, a stay or dividing line between the palm and heel portions, and adapted to be tightened or loosened so as to vary the height or depth of a selected section or zone of the heel portion B', whereby the height or depth of said selected zone can be changed in a way to cause the deeper portion of the pocket to be shifted from one side to the other, i. e., towards the thumb of the glove, or towards the little finger, or towards the center of the pocket. In the glove shown in the drawing a curved row of holes or eyelets 4 is located in the leather shell x at the inner edge of the intermediate part of the heel portion B', and a similar curved row of holes or eyelets 5 is located in the shell at the outer edge of the intermediate part of the heel portion B'.
A lacing means, formed preferably by two independently-adjustable thongs or lacings 6 and 7 are laced through the holes or eyelets 4 and 5 in such a way that the act of tightening said thongs draws together the opposed side portions of the casing which extends over the curved strip 2 of padding material that constitutes the heel portion B', thereby compacting or condensing said padding material in a manner to reduce the width and increase the height of the heel portion B'. Similarly, if the thongs or lacings 6 and 7 be loosened or slacked off, the opposed side parts of the casing that constitutes the outer side or wear-resisting surface of the heel portion B', will spread, with the result that the width of said heel portion will be increased and the height of said portion will be reduced. At one end of the thong or lacing 6 is a knot or retaining means 6a that prevents said thong from pulling through the hole 5 in the leather shell through which the lacing passes. The lacing 6 extends from the knot 6a downwardly and inwardly between the folded or doubled padding strip 2, and the portion of the flat pad I upon which said padding strip is superimposed, and thence upwardly and outwardly through one of the holes 4 at the inner edge of the heel portion B', said lacing 6 extending back and forth in the manner shown in the drawing and finally terminating in a retaining knot 6b disposed on the exterior of the leather shell x. The lacing or thong 7 is arranged in a similar manner, and is provided at its opposite ends with retaining knots 7a and 7b. Thus, by manipulating the lacing means, the user can easily adjust the glove to produce a ball-receiving pocket whose deep portion is located at a sr, particular zone or point in the palm portion of the glove which that particular user has found to be best or most efficient in the operation of catching a ball. The lacing means can be manipulated in various ways to adjust the glove, and rno while we have shown the glove as being equipped with a plurality of independently-adjustable thongs or lacings, we wish it to be understood that our invention contemplates the use of a single lacing. We prefer, however, to use a plurality of lacings or thongs, as, herein shown, because such a structure facilitates tightening one lacing and loosening the other one, in the event it is necessary or desirable to change the crosssectional shape of different zones or parts of the on heel portion B' of the glove.
Having thus described our invention, what we claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is: 1. A baseball glove provided with a curved heel 05 portion disposed at the inner end of the palm portion of the glove, said heel portion comprising padding material enclosed in a casing, and an adjusting lacing combined with said casing for varying the cross-sectional shape and/or dimensions of said heel portion, for the purpose described.
2. A baseball glove provided with a built-in ball-receiving pocket, comprising a back stop formed by the palm portion of the glove, a retaining wall formed by a curved heel portion that projects upwardly higher than said palm portion and which is located at the inner end of same, and a flexible adjusting device combined with said heel portion for changing the crosssectional shape and/or dimensions of a selected part of said heel portion, for the purpose described.
3. A baseball glove provided with a palm portion and a heel portion confined between a backing and a leather shell, said heel portion being of substantially circular shape in cross section, and a lacing inserted in openings in said shell located at the opposite edges of said heel portion and adapted to be manipulated or adjusted to vary the shape of said heel portion.
4. A baseball glove provided with a built-in ball-receiving pocket that comprises a curved heel portion of substantial height located at the base or inner end of the pocket, and a plurality of independently-adjustable devices for varying the cross-sectional shape or dimensions of different zones of said heel portion.
5. A baseball glove having a member built in same, below or one the underside of the piece of material that constitutes the front side of the glove, so as to form a curb or retaining wall disposed transversely of and merging into the palm portion of the glove at the inner end of same, and means for enabling the user to change the cross-sectional shape and/or dimensions of said built-in curb member so as to vary the location and/or dimensions of the ball pocket formed by said curb and the palm portion of the glove.
6. A baseball glove of the kind described in claim 5, in which said curb member is formed by padding material that is directly attached to the padding material used in the palm portion of the glove.
7. A baseball glove of the kind described in claim 5, in which the piece of material that constitutes the palm portion and the front side of the fingers of the glove, also forms the top portion of a casing which houses said built-in curb member.
8. A baseball glove, comprising a front piece that constitutes the wear-resisting surface of the ball pocket of the glove, padding material under said front piece constructed to form a palm pad and a raised curb pad at the heel of the palm pad, and an adjustable lacing for varying said curb pad inserted in the said front piece at the junction of the curb and the back stop of the ball pocket of the glove.
HARRY B. LATINA.