Title:
CUSHIONED KNOB ATTACHMENT FOR A BAT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cushioning sleeve for a bat. The bat includes an axis, a cap, a barrel, a taper, a handle, and a knob. The handle includes a handle diameter in the knob and includes a knob diameter. The cushioning sleeve comprises a neck and a flared end. The neck is shaped to extend along the handle away from the knob and is shaped to cover part of the handle. The neck includes a substantially constant inside diameter and a substantially constant outside diameter. The flared end includes a terminal end having a diameter greater than the handle diameter. The terminal end diameter is also greater than the inside and outside diameters of the neck. The flared end is shaped to cover part of the knob. The neck transitions into the flared end at internal and external transitions. The external transition is shaped concave inwardly towards the axis of the bat.



Inventors:
Shaw, Rebecca H. (St. Louis, MO, US)
Siebers, Scott David (Chesterfield, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/738707
Publication Date:
09/11/2008
Filing Date:
04/23/2007
Assignee:
RAWLINGS SPORTING GOODS COMPANY, INC (St. Louis, MO, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B59/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GRAHAM, MARK S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATTERSON Intellectual Property Law, P.C. (1600 DIVISION STREET, SUITE 500, NASHVILLE, TN, 37203, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bat comprising: a bat axis; a barrel portion having a cap end; an end cap positioned in the cap end; a taper portion extending from the barrel portion opposite the cap end; a handle portion extending from the taper portion opposite the barrel portion, the handle portion having a handle diameter; a knob attached to the handle opposite the taper portion, the knob having a maximum knob diameter; and a cushioning device covering part of the knob and extending along the handle away from the knob, the cushioning device including a neck and a flared end, the neck having a substantially constant inside diameter and a substantially constant outside diameter, the flared end including a flared end diameter greater than the handle diameter.

2. The bat of claim 1, wherein the flared end diameter is less than the maximum knob diameter.

3. The bat of claim 1, wherein the flared end diameter is greater than the maximum knob diameter.

4. The bat of claim 1, wherein: the knob includes a knob length; and the maximum knob diameter is positioned approximately at the midpoint of the knob length.

5. The bat of claim 4, wherein the flared end covers the maximum knob diameter.

6. The bat of claim 1, wherein the flared end terminates before the maximum knob diameter.

7. The bat of claim 1, wherein the flared end includes an internal protrusion radially extending toward the bat axis.

8. The bat of claim 1, further including internal and external transitions between the neck and flared end, the external transition being arcuately shaped.

9. The bat of claim 8, the internal transition being arcuately shaped.

10. The bat of claim 8, the neck and flared end including internal surfaces forming an approximately ninety degree angle in the internal transition.

11. The bat of claim 1, wherein the cushioning device is permanently fixed to the handle and knob.

12. The bat of claim 1, further including a grip wherein the cushioning device is positioned on the handle under a portion of the grip.

13. The bat of claim 1, further including a grip having a knob side wherein the neck of the cushioning device abuts the knob side.

14. A bat for striking a ball, the bat comprising: a bat axis; a barrel having a cap end; an end cap positioned in the cap end; a taper extending from the barrel opposite the cap end; a handle extending from the taper opposite the barrel, the handle portion having a handle diameter; a grip positioned on the handle; a knob attached to the handle opposite the taper, the knob having a knob length and a maximum knob diameter substantially corresponding with the midpoint of the knob length; and a cushioning device covering part knob and extending along the handle away from the knob, the cushioning device including a neck and an expanded end, the neck having a substantially constant inside diameter and a substantially constant outside diameter, the expanded end including a terminal end diameter greater than the handle diameter, the neck transitioning into the expanded end at internal and external transitions, the external transition being arcuately shaped.

15. The bat of claim 14, wherein the terminal end diameter is less than the maximum knob diameter.

16. The bat of claim 14, wherein the terminal end diameter is greater than the maximum knob diameter.

17. The bat of claim 14, the internal transition being arcuately shaped.

18. The bat of claim 14, the neck and expanded end including internal surfaces forming an approximately ninety degree angle in the internal transition.

19. The bat of claim 14, wherein the expanded end covers the maximum knob diameter.

20. The bat of claim 14, wherein the expanded end terminates before the maximum knob diameter.

21. The bat of claim 14, wherein the cushioning device is positioned on the handle under a portion of the grip.

22. The bat of claim 14, further including a grip having a knob side wherein the neck of the cushioning device abuts the knob side.

23. A cushioning sleeve for bat, the bat including an axis, a cap, a barrel, a taper, a handle having a handle diameter, and a knob having a knob diameter, the cushioning sleeve comprising: a neck shaped to extend along the handle away from the knob and shaped to cover part of the handle, the neck having a substantially constant inside diameter and a substantially constant outside diameter; a flared end including a terminal end having a diameter greater than the handle diameter of the handle, the inside diameter of the neck, and the outside diameter of the neck, the flared end shaped to cover part of the knob; and wherein the neck transitions into the flared end proximate the knob at an internal transition and transitions into the flared end radially spaced from the knob at an external transition, the external transition being shaped concave inwardly toward the axis of the bat.

Description:

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/893,137 entitled “cushioned Knob Attachment for a Bat” filed Mar. 6, 2007, which is hereby expressly incorporated by reference in its entirety.

We, Rebecca H. Shaw, a citizen of the United States, residing at 1800 S. Brentwood Blvd., Apt. 132, St. Louis, Mo. 63144; and Scott David Siebers, a citizen of the United States, residing at 1924 Squires Way Ct. Chesterfield, Mo. 63017; have invented a new and useful “CUSHIONED KNOB ATTACHMENT FOR A BAT.”

A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material that is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or the patent disclosure, as it appears in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.

All applications, patents and publications previously herein or subsequently discussed or described herein are herein incorporated by reference in their entireties.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to bats used in diamond sports. More specifically, the current invention relates to an energy absorption device engaging the handle and knob of a bat to cushion the batter's hand and absorb energy from an impact between the bat and a ball.

It can be appreciated that numerous attempts have been made to improve the performance of a bat. Some of these prior art attempts have included the addition and adjustment of various elements in and around the knob and grip portion of the bat. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,994,641, 6,767,297, 6,277,040, 5,624,114, 3,972,528, 3,779,551, 3,469,839, 2,659,605, and 2,091,458 disclose various attempts to modify or adjust the grip, knob, or handle of a bat.

Handle and grip configurations can vary between otherwise similar bats. Additionally, each batter typically prefers a different grip, handle, and knob configuration. Typically, however, the attachment between a handle and knob is generally perpendicular or tapered in design. Various attempts have been made to provide additional devices that adjust or alter the tapered end or perpendicular design of a bat. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,277,040 and 3,469,839 show various attachments that can be added to a bat to adjust the taper end or taper location on the bat.

Additionally, grips that are placed around the handle of a bat also vary and can be adjusted with the particular preferences of a batter. Generally there are two types of grips placed on handles. The first is a rolled on grip which typically comes in the form of a solid, tubular piece of material, typically rubber, which is slid or rolled onto the bat. The second version is a wrapped grip which typically comes in a strip of material, typically leather, that is the wrapped circumferentially around the handle. Both of these grips can be attached to the handle, such as by glue or tape, as desired.

Still other patents, such as U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,624,114, 6,767,297 and 6,994,641 have attempted to dampen the vibratory energy within the handle of a bat to reduce the shock on the hand of a batter. U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,767,297 and 6,994,641 include internal devices placed with the handle specifically designed to dampen the vibrations therein. These additional items can be expensive to manufacture and install thereby increasing the cost of the bat. Additionally, these additional internal insertions can become dislodged during use of the bat thereby reducing their effectiveness and potentially having adverse effect on the performance of the bat itself.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,624,114 includes a shock dampener that fits over the knob end of the handle. This dampener effectively eliminates any taper in the handle of the bat and provides little energy damping effect to a batter that does not place his hand in contact with the shock damper at the knob of the bat. For example, when a batter chokes up on the handle of the bat additionally shock dampers must be installed in order to effectively reduce the energy transfer between the hand and the bat.

Thus, there is a continuing need for a bat with an improved handle, grip, and knob configuration. This needed bat preferably includes a shock damper or knob cushion that can reduce the energy transfer between the bat and the batter's hands. Preferably this knob cushion allows a batter to still select the desired grip and the desired taper configuration such that the batter's preferred method of holding the bat and hand placement is substantially unaffected by the knob cushion. This needed knob cushion is currently lacking in the art.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Disclosed herein is a cushioning sleeve for a bat. The bat includes an axis, a cap, a barrel, a taper, a handle, and a knob. The handle includes a handle diameter in the knob and includes a knob diameter. The cushioning sleeve comprises a neck and a flared end. The neck is shaped to extend along the handle away from the knob and is shaped to cover part of the handle. The neck includes a substantially constant inside diameter and a substantially constant outside diameter. The flared end includes a terminal end having a diameter greater than the handle diameter. The terminal end diameter is also greater than the inside and outside diameters of the neck. The flared end is shaped to cover part of the knob. The neck transitions into the flared end at internal and external transitions. The external transition is shaped concave inwardly towards the axis of the bat.

Also disclosed is a bat for striking a ball wherein the bat comprises an axis, a barrel, a cap positioned in the cap end of the barrel, a taper extending from the barrel opposite the cap end and a handle extending from the taper opposite the barrel. The handle portion includes a handle diameter and a grip is positioned on the handle. A knob is attached to the handle opposite taper wherein the knob includes a knob length and a maximum knob diameter substantially corresponding with the midpoint of the knob length.

A cushion device covers part of the knob and extends along the handle away from the knob. The cushion device includes a neck and an expanded end. The neck includes a substantially constant inside diameter and a substantially constant outside diameter while the expanded end includes a terminal end diameter greater than the handle diameter. The neck transitions into the expanding end at internal and external transitions wherein the external transition is arcuately shaped.

The terminal end diameter can be less than the maximum knob diameter or greater than the maximum knob diameter. As such the expanded end of the cushioning device can terminate before the maximum knob diameter or cover the maximum knob diameter. Additionally, the internal transition can be arcuately shaped or alternately the neck and expanded end can include internal surfaces forming an approximately ninety degree angle in the internal transition. The cushioning device can be positioned on the handle under a portion of the grip, over a portion of the grip, or alternately abut or be positioned approximate to a portion of the grip.

It is therefore a general object of the present invention to provide an improved bat.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a bat having a shock dampener.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a bat having a knob cushion.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a cushioning device for a part of the knob and extending along the handle away from the knob.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a cushioning device for the knob or handle that facilitates a batter to pick the degree of taper and the grip type used in the bat.

Other and further objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading of the following disclosure when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of a bat made in accordance with the current disclosure.

FIG. 2 is a side view of a bat made in accordance with the current disclosure.

FIG. 3 is a detailed view of an embodiment for a cushioning device positioned on a bat made in accordance with the current disclosure.

FIG. 4 is a detailed view of an embodiment for a cushioning device positioned on a bat made in accordance with the current disclosure.

FIG. 5 is a detailed view of an embodiment for a cushioning device positioned on a bat made in accordance with the current disclosure.

FIG. 6 is a detailed view of an embodiment for a cushioning device positioned on a bat made in accordance with the current disclosure.

FIG. 7 is a detailed view of an embodiment for a cushioning device positioned on a bat made in accordance with the current disclosure.

FIG. 8 is a detailed view of an embodiment for a cushioning device positioned on a bat made in accordance with the current disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring generally now to FIGS. 1-8, a bat is shown and generally designated by the numeral 10. The bat 10 is for striking a ball 12 and includes a barrel portion 14, a taper portion 16, and handle portion 18. A knob 20 is attached to the handle 18 opposite the taper 16 and an end cap 22 is positioned in the cap end 13 of the barrel. A grip 26 is positioned on the handle 18 and can span substantially the length of the handle 18. A cushioning device 28 covers part of the knob 20 and extends along the handle 18 away from the knob 20.

The cushioning device 28, which can also be described as a sleeve or a shock absorber, includes a neck 30 and a flared end 32. The neck 30 includes a substantially constant inside diameter 34 and a substantially constant outside diameter 36. The flared end 32 includes a flared end diameter 38 greater than the handle diameter 19.

In one embodiment, the flared end diameter 38 is less than the maximum knob diameter 40. In this embodiment, which can best be seen in FIGS. 3, 5 and 7, the flared end 32 terminates before the maximum knob diameter 40. Alternately described, the flared end 32 ends between the joint 42, the connection between the handle 18 and knob 20, and the maximum knob diameter 40 of the knob 20.

Alternately, the flared end diameter 38 can be greater than the maximum knob diameter 40. In this configuration, as best seen in FIGS. 4, 6 and 8, the flared end 32 can cover the maximum knob diameter 40, which can be approximately positioned at the midpoint of the knob length 21. Alternately, the flared end 32 can proceed past the midpoint of the knob length 21 and still cover the maximum knob diameter 40.

In one embodiment the flared end 32 includes an internal protrusion 44 radially extending toward the bat axis 24. This internal protrusion 44 is preferably positioned at or near the terminal end 46 of the flared end 32.

The cushioning device 28 also includes internal and external transitions 48 and 50 between the neck 30 and flared end 32. The external transition can be arcuately shaped as best seen in FIGS. 3-8. The internal transition 48 can also be arcuately shaped as seen in FIGS. 4, 6 and 8. Alternately, the neck 30 and flared end 32 can include internal surfaces 52 and 54 that form an approximately ninety degree angle in the internal transition 48. This is best exampled by FIGS. 3, 5, and 7.

In one embodiment, as best seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, the grip 26 includes a knob side 27 wherein the neck 30 of the cushioning device 28 abuts the knob side 27, or is positioned approximate to the knob side 27 of the grip 26. In an alternate embodiment the cushioning device 28 is positioned on the handle 18 under a portion of the grip 26 as exampled in FIGS. 5 and 6. In still another embodiment, the cushioning device 28 is positioned over a portion of the grip 26 as is best illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8.

Various dimensions of the cushioning device 28 can be used and still maintain the inventive nature of this disclosure. For example, in a most preferred embodiment of the cushioning device 28 as exampled in FIG. 3, the cushioning device 28 includes an overall length of approximately 35 millimeters and a width in the neck of approximately 1.5 millimeters. Alternately, in a most preferred embodiment of the cushioning device 28 as exampled in FIG. 4, the cushioning device 28 includes an overall length of approximately 41 millimeters and a width in the neck of approximately 1.5 millimeters. The internal protrusion can include a width of also approximately 1.5 millimeters.

Thus, although there have been described particular embodiments of the present invention of a new and useful CUSHIONED KNOB ATTACHMENT FOR A BAT, it is not intended that such references be construed as limitations upon the scope of this invention except as set forth in the following claims.