Title:
Baseball/softball batting tee
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A batting tee for baseball and softball; adjustable depending on the size and age of the individual player; safer to use; portable; and allowing intensive training is essentially comprised of an “L”-shaped tee, a telescoping and fordable leg and serving unit; linking unit is disposed between the telescoping leg and the serving unit; or a column made of resilient material to hold the ball being directly inserted onto the serving unit; and a ball feeder connected to the linking unit being externally inserted to the serving unit.



Inventors:
Huang, Chen-hui (Changhua Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
11/175166
Publication Date:
01/11/2007
Filing Date:
07/07/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RABIN & BERDO, P.C. (Suite 500 1101 14th Street, N.W., Washington, DC, 20005, US)
Claims:
1. A baseball/softball batting tee made of hollow pipes in an “L” shape including a vertical section and a lateral section to respectively accommodate a retractable ball bearing ring and a telescoping leg adapted with a pedal; both of the pedal and the lateral section of the tee being connected to each other in series by means of a linking lever; the telescoping leg being mounted externally to the vertical section of the tee; a serving unit including an elevation column accommodated in a sleeve provided on the inner side of the vertical section of the tee; an elastic member being provided at where appropriate inside the elevation column; one end of the elastic member being connected to one end of the sleeve; a slot being disposed one end of the elevation column that is exposed out of the sleeve; and a triggering plate being disposed on the other end of the elevation column to hold against the other end of the sleeve or the linking lever.

2. The baseball/softball batting tee of claim 1, wherein an insertion tube is further disposed externally to the vertical section of the tee to receive insertion by a ball feeder serving unit; a chute to guide ball extends from a base of the feeder and a locking post being disposed on the lower edge of the base; a locking ring is separately provided to the outlet of the ball guide chute at where in relation to the retractable ball bearing ring; the ball guide chute contains an elastic member and externally connected with a support rod; and a pull rod is disposed between the support rod and the triggering plate.

3. The baseball/softball batting tee of claim 1, wherein a column made of resilient material to hold the ball is directly inserted onto the serving unit.

4. The baseball/softball batting tee of claim 1, wherein a one-way ratchet is provided to a designated location on the vertical section of the tee; a prefabricated row gear is disposed to the elevation column; a connection arm is axially provided to the ratchet; the ratchet is engaged with the row gear; a free end of the connection arm is suspended with a weight to promote the connection arm to swing downward by the inherited mass of the weight to link the ratchet to engage the row gear of the elevation column to descend the elevation column until the triggering plate is retained by the linking lever; and the trouble and inconvenience in controlling the descending of the elevation column by manual force to step on the pedal are eliminated.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

(a) Field of the Invention

The present invention is related to a batting tee, and more particularly, to one for baseball and softball batting practice.

(b) Description of the Prior Art:

Batting tees generally available in the market usually have a pole erected on the ground, a small plate disposed at the top of the pole, and a ball placed on the plate for the batter to hit the ball at a fixed batter's box. However, the efficiency of such a batting tee of the prior art to improve hitting is very limited and further improvement is warranted.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary purpose of the present invention is to provide a batting tee for baseball and softball. It is adjustable depending on the size and age of the individual player; safer to use; portable; and allowing intensive training to overcome the problems of preventing portability and poor training results as found with the prior art. To achieve the purpose, the present invention is essentially comprised of an “L”-shaped tee, a telescoping and fordable leg and serving unit. Wherein, a linking unit is disposed between the telescoping leg and the serving unit; or alternatively, a column made of resilient material to hold the ball is directly inserted onto the serving unit. Furthermore, a ball feeder connected to the linking unit is externally inserted to the serving unit.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic view showing that the present invention is packed in a travel bag before erection for use.

FIG. 2 is a schematic view showing that the present invention is erected for use.

FIG. 3 is a schematic view showing the insertion of a ball feeder externally to the vertical section of an L-shaped tee of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a side view showing that multiple balls are placed on a guide chute of the present invention erected as illustrated in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a schematic view showing that a batter (not illustrated) steps on a triggering plate for a ball to fall into where between a locking ring and a retractable ball bearing ring.

FIG. 6 is a side view showing that the batter (not illustrated) steps on the triggering plate for it to slide under a linking lever, the linking lever in turn pulls a pedal for the pedal to slightly rise.

FIG. 7 is a side view showing the operation of a slope end of the linking lever of the present invention and the triggering plate.

FIG. 8 is a side view showing that the batter (not illustrated) steps on the triggering plate for it to slide out of the linking lever, an elevation column rebounds to hit and raise the ball.

FIG. 9 is a schematic view showing readjustment of the telescoping leg and the linking lever on the tee of the present invention to compromise the size and age of the individual player.

FIG. 10 is a schematic view showing that a column made of resilient material to hold the ball is inserted onto the elevation column of a serving unit of the present invention for the player to practice batting at a specific point.

FIG. 11 is a schematic view showing a construction of a second preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is side view of the second preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIG. 1, a preferred embodiment before erection is packed in a travel bag (90) showing that the present invention is completely collapsible for easy storage and erected whenever practicing is desired.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4, respectively for a schematic view showing that the present invention is erected for use; a schematic view showing the insertion of a ball feeder externally to the vertical section of an L-shaped tee of the present invention; and a side view showing that multiple balls are placed on a guide chute of the present invention erected as illustrated in FIG. 3; the preferred embodiment is essentially comprised of an “L” shaped tee (10) including a vertical section (11) and a lateral section (12) made of hollow tubes to respectively accommodate a retractable ball bearing ring (13) and a telescoping leg (14) adapted with a pedal (15), and the pedal (15) and an elastic member (17) of a holder (16) locking the lateral section (12) of the tee (10) are connected in series to each other by means of a linking lever (18); a telescoping leg (20) mounted externally to the vertical section (11) of the tee (10); and a serving unit (30) including an elevation column (32) accommodated in a sleeve (31) provided on the inner side of the vertical section (11) of the tee (10), an elastic member (33) is disposed at where appropriately inside the elevation column (32) with one end connected to one end of the sleeve (31), a slot (36) is formed on the elevation column (32) at the end exposed from the sleeve (31), a triggering plate (34) is disposed at the other end of the elevation column (32) to hold against the other end of the sleeve (31) or the linking lever (18); and a serving unit (40).

In practice, the batter steps on to the triggering plate (34) to descend the elevation column (32) while the linking lever (18) pushing outwardly the elastic member (17) for the elastic member (17) to retreat and the pedal (15) to stay flushed. The elastic member (17) slightly returns and the triggering plate (34) slides to where below the linking lever (18). Accordingly, the pedal (15) rises slightly when pulled by the linking lever (18) to define a fall of height between the retractable ball bearing ring (13) and the elevation column (32).

An insertion tube (19) is externally provided to the vertical section (11) of the tee (10) for the insertion by the serving unit (40). A ball guide chute (42) extends upwardly at an inclination from a base (41) of the serving unit (40). A locking post (43) is disposed at the lower edge of the base (41), and a locking ring (44) is separately disposed to the base (41) at the outlet of the guide chute (42) in relation to a retractable ball bearing ring (13). The base (41) contains an elastic member (45) and externally connected to a support rod (46). A pull rod (47) is disposed at where between the support rod (46) and the triggering plate (34).

Accordingly, once the batter steps on the triggering plate (34) to descend the elevation column (32). A buckling ring (35) is disposed on the triggering plate (34). The pull rod (47) drags the support rod (46) to ascend the base (41) of the serving unit (40) for a ball (50) in the guide chute (42) to fall into where between the locking ring (44) and the retractable ball bearing ring (13); meanwhile the triggering plate (34) immediately slide under the linking lever (18) and the pedal (15) is slightly raised as drawn by the linking lever (18).

Now referring to FIG. 4 for a side view of the preferred embodiment of the present invention as illustrated in FIG. 3, wherein the preferred embodiment is erected and multiple balls are placed in the guide chute. The telescoping leg (20) made in a shape of sandwich is erected externally to the vertical section (11) of the tee (10) by means of a foldable connection plate (80).

As illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, respectively for a schematic view showing that a batter (not illustrated) steps on the triggering plate (34) for the ball (50) to fall into where between the locking ring (44) and the retractable ball bearing ring (13); and a side view showing that the batter (not illustrated) steps on the triggering plate (34) for it to slide under the linking lever (18), the linking lever (18) in turn pulls the pedal (15) for the pedal (15) to slightly rise; wherein, the lateral section (12) of the tee (10) forms a slope to permit the triggering plate (34) to slide under the linking lever (18).

As illustrated in FIG. 7 for a side view showing the operation of a slope end of the linking lever of the present invention and the triggering plate; the batter steps on the triggering plate (34) to descend the elevation column (32). Meanwhile, the linking lever (18) pushes outwardly to cause the elastic member (17) to retreat and the pedal (15) to lay flushed also as illustrated in FIG. 6. As the elastic member (17) slightly returns, the triggering plate (34) slides under the linking lever (18).

As illustrated in FIG. 8, steps on the triggering plate (34) for it to slide out of the linking lever (18), the elevation column (32) rebounds to hit and raise the ball (50).

As illustrated in FIG. 9 for a schematic view showing readjustment of the telescoping leg and the linking lever on the tee of the present invention to compromise the size and age of the individual player; wherein, the linking lever (18) to the lateral section (12) of the tee (10) is fastened by multiple sections. Both of the vertical section (11) and the lateral section (12) of the tee (10) are respectively provided with a knob (70) to readjust and secure in position the retractable ball bearing ring (13) and the telescoping leg (14).

Now referring to FIG. 10, when the batter is a child, a column (60) made of resilient material to hold the ball (50) is separately inserted onto the elevation column (32) of the serving unit (30) for the player to enjoy practicing the batting at a specific point.

As illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12, a one-way ratchet (111) is provided at a designated location on the vertical section (11) of the tee (10) to achieve linked motion by engaging with a row gear (321) prefabricated in relation to the elevation column (32) and having a connection arm (37) axially provided to the ratchet (111). The free end of the connection arm (37) is suspended with a weight (38) to promote the connection arm (37) to swing downward by the inherited mass of the weight (38) thus to link the ratchet (111) to engage the row gear (321) of the elevation column (32) to descend the elevation column (32) until the triggering plate (34) is retained by the linking lever (18). Once the pedal (15) is stepped on for the linking lever to release the triggering plate (34), the elastic member (33) pushes the elevation column (32) to ascend to eject the ball (50) falling into the locking ring (44). Accordingly, trouble and inconvenience in controlling the descending of the elevation column (32) by manual force to step on the pedal are eliminated.

The present invention provides the following advantages:

    • 1. Both of the retractable ball bearing ring and the telescoping leg are adjustable depending on the size and age of the batter;
    • 2. The batter merely stands within the batter's box to prepare practicing the batting by stepping on the triggering plate for the ball to automatically fall into the locking ring and ascend to draw one end of the linking lever to hold against the upper part of the triggering plate; and then the batter steps on the triggering board once again for one end of the linking lever to slide out of the triggering plate to raise the ball due to the return force of the elastic member; and
    • 3. The tee is designed retractable and foldable to facilitate portability, fast erection and availability for players of different sizes and ages.





 
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