Title:
Baseball and softball base anchoring system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tapered box that is buried in the ground with a removable lid that is used to anchor baseball bases in place but also allows for them to be easily removed when the playing surface is being groomed. This novel system eliminates the problems created when soil accidentally falls into the present art anchoring systems. Additionally no concrete is needed to hold the anchor in place; non-corrosive materials are used to eliminate rusting parts from adhering to one another and, because the lid is made of a rubberized material it has shock absorbing properties to help prevent injuries.



Inventors:
Jacobson, Rodney Dean (Montpelier, ID, US)
Application Number:
11/654882
Publication Date:
07/17/2008
Filing Date:
01/17/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B71/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Rodney Dean Jacobson (163 Valleyview Dr., Montpelier, ID, 83254, US)
Claims:
What I claim is:

1. This invention unlike other base anchor system eliminates the need to “fish” soil out of the base receptacle, it comes ready to install (no concrete needed), requires no ground anchor plugs, is non-corrosive, and has shock absorbing capabilities.

Description:

SPECIFICATIONS AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

While there are several different manufacturers of baseball bases, the system used to anchor these bases to the playing surface is very similar. The typical present art-anchoring system is a solid square shaft that slides into a corresponding hollow square tube. The portion of the anchoring system that is buried in the ground typically arrives with each new base that is purchased but requires further assembly. The portion of the anchoring system that goes into the ground (which may be the solid square rod or more typically the hollow square sleeve) needs to be cemented into the ground itself as indicated in FIG. 12. This requires the purchaser to purchase dry mix concrete and mix the contents and wait for the concrete to cure before burying the anchor. Also the placing of the concrete into the ground must be done very exactly as there is no way to adjust a slightly misplaced or misaligned concrete anchor. Because the present invention comes completely assembled and ready for use, installation is much more forgiving since it can be moved or removed fairly easily.

With reference to the present art, once the ground anchor is installed the base stem is slid over or into the ground assembly so that the base rests on the playing surface (ground). Currently the male/female portions of the anchoring systems are made of metal and often times due to moisture, the metal sections will anodically corrode and become inseparable. However, the anchoring means of the present invention addresses this problem because it is made of non-corrosive materials.

The most significant drawback of present art anchoring systems has to do with the need to level or groom the playing surface. To groom a field the bases need to be removed from their ground anchor and set aside while a leveling device is pulled over the playing surface. It is necessary with current anchoring systems to place plastic or rubber plugs in the ground unit to keep soil from falling into the space occupied by the bases stem. This means having to keep track of these plugs when they are not in use, carefully inserting the plugs to keep soil from falling into the anchor prior to dragging the field and then carefully extracting the plugs after the grooming is done. It should be noted that if or when soil falls into the stems space it is a very tedious and time-consuming chore to “fish” soil out of the space.

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a base anchoring system that will allow the playing field to be leveled and groomed without having to insert plugs into the bases support system.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a system that is impervious to corrosion and freezing of the working parts of the anchoring means, thereby adding life and longevity to the base anchoring system.

It is another object of the present invention to eliminate the need for frequent cleaning of the base system supporting means.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a base anchoring means that will allow easy removal of dirt and foreign matter that may enter the anchoring system.

It is also an objective of the present invention to provide a base anchoring means that will reduce the labor of maintaining and grooming the playing field.

And finally, it is an objective of this invention to use shock absorbing, rubberized material for the lid of the invention to reduce the potential of personal injury when players incorrectly slide into a base. Several thousand injuries of this type occur every year.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The above objects are realized in the present invention by providing both a baseball and/or softball base anchoring system, designed to eliminate the above mentioned drawbacks that are commonplace with the present art base anchoring systems. The uniquely implemented tapered ground box with the removable lid of the present invention eliminates these current drawbacks by addressing three common problems that exist with the current anchoring systems:

    • 1. The present invention requires no additional assembly or purchase of additional materials or delay in the installation and the installation is not as exacting.
    • 2. The present invention eliminates the problem of corrosion freezing of the male/female base and anchoring assemblies together.
    • 3. The present invention eliminates the concerns and the problems dealing with the soil getting into the anchoring assembly.
    • 4. The present invention reduces the labor required to maintain the playing field.
    • 5. Lastly, the present system, through the use of rubberized material in the lid of the invention, provides for a more forgiving stationary object when sliding: into a base.

Therefore, the present inventions design emphasis and is primary purpose and objectives, are characterized by its ability to provide a more effective, efficient, and comprehensive method for securing the bases of a playing field, while concurrently eliminating the above mentioned drawbacks and problems, as outlined by the claims.

DRAWINGS

FIG. 1. A sectional side view of the present invention installed in the ground and taken at the centerline of the securing bolts.

FIG. 2. A side view of a typical base presently being manufactured.

FIG. 3. A sectional side view of the present invention installed in the ground and taken at the centerline of the securing bolts with the typical present art base inserted.

FIG. 4. A sectional side view of the present invention installed in the ground and taken at the centerline of the securing bolts with the lid and base removed.

FIG. 5. A side view of the present invention.

FIG. 6. A plan or top view of the present invention with the lid removed.

FIG. 7. A dimensional side view of the lid of the present invention.

FIG. 8. A dimensional plan view of the lid of the present invention.

FIG. 9. A side view of the present invention with a typical present art base inserted.

FIG. 10. An exploded side view of the present invention utilizing a typical present art base.

FIG. 11. An exploded sectional side view of the present invention utilizing a typical present art base.

FIG. 12. A sectional side view of a typical installation of a present art base and its anchoring means.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention including parts, steps, sequences, and processes shall more fully be made to appear in the course of the following descriptions: the drawings merely present and the description merely describe preferred embodiments of the present invention by way of illustration or example, and in no way are meant to be circumscribing as to the actual embodiments which may be needed for a particular situation, operation, or application.

An example of a preferred embodiment satisfying the objectives of the present invention can be seen by directing attention to the drawing or illustrations in FIG. 1. As can be seen, the present invention is characterized by providing a base anchoring means consisting primarily of a two piece tapered ground box 10 having tapered side walls 13, an inner lid supporting shelf or lip 14, an open bottom 11, two securing nuts 22a &22b and a stabilizing/strengthening bottom support lip 12, designed to be buried approximately 10½ inches in the ground or earth 30 with its lid 20 approximately level or slightly lower than the playing surface of a baseball or softball infield. The present invention is designed to replace present art base anchoring systems that have several drawbacks as described above. This novel anchoring system is designed for ease of installation in the ground and comes fully assembled and ready for installation. Its design is such that it will not snag leveling devices that may be dragged over it (all surface angles being rounded, as shown in FIG. 1) and to withstand the scrapings of a typical infield leveling drag. The reinforced sidewalls 26 of the lid 20 seat on lip 14 of tapered ground box 10 and is secured by mounting bolts 21a &21b. Lid 20 also has a reinforced opening 25 consisting of sidewalls 24 in its center sufficient to accommodate the supporting stem 45 of most present art bases currently being manufactured) illustrated in FIG. 2. The open bottom 11 of the tapered ground box 10 allows for any moisture within the present invention to easily drain from the box 10 into the earth or ground 30 and a reservoir where soil that falls through the opening 25 can accumulate without adversely affecting the function of the anchoring system.

Referring now to FIG. 3 it will be recognized by those skilled in the art, how a typical present art manufactured base 40 can be easily inserted into the lid 20 of the present invention. Once the bases stem 45 is inserted in the lid of the present invention the base will not rotate or elevate unless pried up or intentionally lifted for cleaning or grooming purposes. Because lid 20 is made of corrosion resistant materials it will not attach or bond itself to the painted metal, aluminum or rubber base stems that are typically used by present base manufacturers. In the case of the present invention the inserted base 40 can be removed without regard to whether or not soil falls into the anchor system, even when leveling the playing field. The size of the tapered ground box 10 of the present invention allows for more than a gallon of soil to fall into it before a problem might develop (a very unlikely occurrence) and then should such an event occur, lid 20 of the present invention can be easily removed with a screw driver by removing the mounting screws 21a &21b to allow cleaning when and if it becomes necessary. Soil that falls into the ground box can be scooped out easily by hand. Thus, the plugs in the present art anchoring system are no longer needed nor or special tools needed to clean the dirt from an anchors stem and removing and reinstalling the bases is much faster and requires far less effort.

Looking now to FIG. 4 of the present invention illustrates a sectional side view of the present invention installed in the playing field or ground 30 and cutaway at the centerline of the securing nuts 22a &24b, with the lid and base having been removed.

FIGS. 5 & 6 further illustrate the tapered ground box 10 of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a side view and FIG. 6 is a plan or top view.

Likewise, FIGS. 7 & 8 further illustrate the removable lid 20 of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a side view and FIG. 8 is a plain or top view.

FIG. 9 further illustrates the present invention by showing a side view of the tapered ground box 10 with typical manufactured base 40 being inserted into its top.

FIGS. 10 & 11 are included to further illustrate the present invention by showing an exploded view of all working parts of the present invention. FIG. 10 illustrating a side view and FIG. 11 a sectional side view of a typical installation of a present art base and its anchoring means.

FIG. 12 is common prior art base anchoring system having the drawbacks mentioned earlier in the background section of this document.

While the present invention has been described with reference to specific embodiments, various modification as well as alternative embodiments of the invention will become apparent to the persons skilled in the art upon the reference to the above described invention. Thus it should be realized that various changes or alterations might be made without departing from the disclosed inventive subject matter. It is, therefore, contemplated that the following claims will cover such modifications that fall within the scope of the invention.