Title:
Storage pocket for glove for baseball or softball
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A glove for baseball or softball having a storage compartment attached thereto for temporarily storing items such as keys, money or protective mouthpieces. The compartment is attached to the back side of the finger portion of the glove and may be selectively removable by the user.



Inventors:
Streitmann, Michael Joseph (Houston, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/789599
Publication Date:
10/30/2008
Filing Date:
04/25/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/250
International Classes:
A41D13/08
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Michael Joseph Streitmann (6341 Mercer Street, Houston, TX, 77005, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A ball glove for catching a baseball or softball, comprising: a front shell for catching the ball thereon; a back shell selectively joined to the front shell in such manner as to form a finger portion and a heel portion and further defining an opening below the heel portion for receiving there through a hand of a user of the ball glove; a storage pocket attached to the outer surface of the finger portion of the back shell, the storage pocket having an internal chamber with an opening along a portion of its periphery suitable for accepting an article to be stored; and a fastener positioned near the opening of the storage pocket for selectively closing at least a portion of the opening.

2. The glove as recited in claim 1 wherein the storage pocket includes an upper portion and a lower portion, the upper portion and lower portion being attached to one another along a portion of their peripheral edges.

3. The glove as recited in claim 2 wherein a flap is formed integrally from the lower portion of the storage pocket, said flap selectively positionable over the opening of the storage pocket; and the lower portion of the pocket is attached to the outer surface of the finger portion of the back shell and spaced from the heel portion.

4. The glove as recited in claim 1 wherein the pocket is removably attached to the outer surface of the finger portion of the back shell.

5. The glove of claim 1, further including a thumb portion and a web panel attached between the finger portion and the thumb portion.

6. The glove of claim 1 wherein the fastener includes a flap portion selectively positionable over the opening of the storage pocket; and a VELCRO fastener attached between the underside of the flap portion and the upper portion of the pocket for removably attaching at least a portion of the flap over the opening of the storage pocket.

7. The glove as recited in claim 1 wherein the fastener comprises a VELCRO fastener.

8. The glove as recited in claim 1 wherein the fastener comprises a male/female snap closure combination.

9. A storage pocket to be attached to an outer surface of a finger portion of a back shell of a ball glove used for catching a baseball or softball, the pocket comprising an upper portion; a lower portion, the upper portion and lower portion being attached to one another along a portion of their peripheral edges to form an internal chamber with an opening thereto; a fastener positioned near the opening of the storage pocket for selectively closing at least a portion of the opening; and means for attaching the lower portion of the pocket to the outer surface of the finger portion of the glove.

10. A ball glove for catching a baseball or softball, comprising: a front shell for catching the ball thereon; a back shell selectively joined to the front shell in such manner as to form a finger portion, a thumb portion and a heel portion and further defining an opening below the heel portion for receiving there through a hand of a user of the ball glove; a web panel attached between the finger portion and the thumb portion; a storage pocket attached to the web panel, the storage pocket having an internal chamber with an opening along a portion of its periphery suitable for accepting an article to be stored; and a fastener positioned near the opening of the storage pocket for selectively closing at least a portion of the opening.

11. A ball glove for catching a baseball or softball, comprising: a front shell for catching the ball thereon; a back shell selectively joined to the front shell in such manner as to form a finger portion and a heel portion and further defining an opening below the heel portion for receiving there through a hand of a user of the ball glove; a storage pocket attached to the glove and spaced from the heel portion, the storage pocket having an internal chamber with an opening along a portion of its periphery suitable for accepting an article to be stored; and a fastener positioned near the opening of the storage pocket for selectively closing at least a portion of the opening.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a glove for baseball or softball (hereinafter, simply referred to as a “glove”), and more particularly to a structure generally in the form of an external pocket, for attachment to the finger portion of the back surface of the glove. The pocket structure is effective for temporarily storing various smaller articles during use of the glove, for example, a protective mouth piece, money or car keys.

2. Description of the Background Art

Gloves used to catch a baseball or a softball have been used for many years. Additionally improvements have been made over these many years to meet the changes in technological advances reflected in construction of the baseballs, bats as well as the higher lever of play. Along with these technological advances, it has been necessary to address the potential needs of the various levels of players. In particular, many safety devices have been developed over the years for use with younger players such as batting helmets, face guards, protective batting gloves as well as protective mouth pieces. Also, the game and particularly softball, is being played in large numbers as a recreational sport by players of all ages. These players often need a relatively safe but convenient location to store small valuables such as keys, money, driver's licenses, etc. while playing the game.

This need for a means for storing small articles while playing baseball or softball is experienced by players of all ages and levels of play. Accordingly, the need exists for such a storage space that is compatible with most types of gloves and, preferably could be used with more than one type of glove and that could be easily and quickly removed and attached to a different glove.

There are a wide variety of glove constructions such as, for example, a catcher's mitt, a first baseman's mitt and a fielder's mitt, all of which may be designed for right or left hands and are well known in the art. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,460,184 and 6,536,046 both describe gloves which are representative of the general structure of gloves presently being used. Both patents are hereby incorporated by reference.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is made to solve the above-described problem of the lack of a convenient storage place for various articles while the user is participating in the game. A feature of the present invention is to provide a storage pocket which may be attached and possibly removable from a glove for baseball or softball with the pocket located on the back side of the finger portion of the glove so as to avoid interference with normal use of the glove during play while remaining relatively secure and protected from the path of the ball.

A further feature of the present invention is to provide a glove for baseball or softball that includes a storage pocket adapted for retaining various articles during normal use of the glove during play. Such a glove would typically include a front shell for catching the ball thereon. Attached to the front shell is a back shell which is selectively joined to the front shell so as to form a finger portion and a heel portion. An opening is also provided below the heel portion for receiving the hand of the user of the ball glove. The glove includes a storage pocket attached to the finger portion of the glove and provides an internal chamber with an opening along one side. The pocket is appropriately sized so as to accept various articles to be stored by the user. A fastener is also positioned near the opening of the storage pocket and is used to selectively close and open the pocket so as to retain the articles within the pocket when closed.

The foregoing features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will be become more apparent from the following detailed description of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a back elevation view of a baseball or softball glove of the subject invention, showing the storage pocket attached to the finger portion of the glove;

FIG. 2 is an expanded, cross-sectional view taken along line A-A in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an expanded, cross-sectional view of the vicinity of the lower portion of the pocket attached to the upper surface of the finger portion using a VELCRO fastener.

DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the figures, a glove used for baseball or softball having a storage compartment made in accordance with the subject invention is shown in FIG. 1 at 10. Glove 10 has a front shell (not shown) and a back shell 30. As in ordinary and customary in the glove industry, the front shell is joined to the back shell 30 in various locations along the shell's peripheries and internally away from the various peripheral edges of the shells, by lacing and stitches all in a conventional way, but not shown in the figures.

The joining of front shell and back shell 30 is done in such a manner as to create the essential format of the glove, specifically a finger portion 40, thumb portion 50 and heel portion 60. Disposed between finger portion 40 and thumb portion 50 is web-type panel 70. Web panel 70 is secured to glove 10 between finger portion 40 and thumb portion 50 through the use of lacings 76. It is to be understood that the subject invention can be incorporated with a number of types of gloves that might already be known and used in the glove industry, or that may not be presently known or used but is created in the future.

The joining together of front shell and back shell 30 also creates opening 75 below heel portion 60. It is through opening 75 that a user of glove 10 inserts his/her hand so as to be able to use glove 10 while catching a baseball or softball.

The construction details of typical gloves can be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,460,184; 6,536,046; 6,760,919, and Des. 376,675, all of which are specifically incorporated herein by reference.

As is known in the art, when the person's hand is inserted into a typical prior art baseball glove, such as a fielder's glove, the person's four fingers and one thumb are usually each received into their own individual finger stall. Also shown in FIG. 1, on the other side of the glove 10 is thumb portion 50 having an internal thumb stall. Attached to the outer surface 99 of finger portion 40 is storage pocket 100. In one embodiment of the present invention, storage pocket 100 is formed with an upper portion 102, FIG. 2, which may be fabricated from any suitable material such as heavy-duty nylon or leather. Upper portion 102 of pocket 100 is attached to a lower portion 104 of storage pocket 100. Referring specifically to FIG. 1, the storage pocket is shown in one configuration. As can be seen in FIG. 1, a portion of the peripheral edges of the upper portion 102 is shown connected to a corresponding portion of the lower portion 104 along a part of their peripheral edges. For example as seen in FIG. 2, stitch 106 connects upper portion 102 to lower portion 104 with a series of similar stitches 106 being used to effectively sew the peripheral edge of upper portion 102 to corresponding peripheral edge of lower portion 104. Stitches 106 are placed around the periphery of the pocket 100 except for one portion (upper edge as seen in FIG. 1) which forms an opening 109 for the pocket whereby the articles to be stored may be inserted and removed.

Referring now to FIG. 2, in one embodiment the storage pocket 100 further includes a flap portion 108 which may be integrally formed from lower portion 104 of the storage pocket. As seen in FIG. 2, flap portion 108 is selectively positionable over the pocket opening 109 and may be retained in place with fastener shown generally at 110. Fastener 110 may be any conventional fastener which can be easily opened and closed by the user. For example, thistle-cloth fastener material may be used having upper and lower sections 112 and 114 respectively of thistle-cloth material such as the well-known type sold under the trademark VELCRO. For example, the upper section 112 of the fastener 110 may be the hook type of VELCRO material for being frictionally engaged with the cooperating VELCRO pile material used in lower section 114 attached to the under surface 116 of flap 108 and the outer surface 117 of upper portion 102. Another embodiment of the storage pocket 100 may utilize one or more male/female snap ring closure mechanisms (not shown) in place of the VELCRO closure elements 112 and 114. Such a male/female snap ring closure is well known in the art and no further disclosure is believed necessary. As can be appreciated any number of prior art fasteners or closure mechanisms can be used to retain flap 108 in the closed position including a hook and eye type fastener, a button and button hole or a slot cut in upper portion 102 into which flap 108 may be inserted.

Yet another alternative embodiment of the storage pocket 100 may utilize alternative type fasteners without the use of flap portion 108. Such closures could consist of a fastener attached directly to the under surface 120 of upper portion 102 of the pocket positioned so as to mate with another portion of the fastener attached to the upper surface 122 of lower portion 104 so as to close the opening 109 to the pocket 100. For example, such a fastener would consist of a strip of VELCRO fastening material along the length of the opening 109 which could be then easily opened and closed for insertion and retention of the articles to be stored. Also as can be appreciated, such a VELCRO fastener could be replaced with one or more male/female snap ring closures combinations or any other suitable fasteners which are also well known in the art.

As can be seen in FIG. 1, storage pocket 100 is mounted on the outer surface 99 of the finger portion 40 of glove 10 and spaced from the heel portion 60. It is believed that positioning of the storage pocket 100 in such a location allows the user to take advantage of the convenient storage pocket without such pocket interfering in the normal use of the glove or adding additional weight to the heel portion 60 yet not being exposed to being hit by an approaching ball. Also, the finger portion 40 of the glove provides adequate surface area upon which an appropriately sized storage pocket 100 may be mounted without interfering with the heel portion 60 or the opening 75.

Storage pocket 100 may be attached to the outer surface 99 of finger portion 40 by any one of several means. It is contemplated that the storage pocket 100 may be sewn directly to surface 99 as is known in the art or, if desirable, the storage pocket 100 may be removably attached to the glove 10, depending upon the need and desires of the user. It may be understood that the pocket may be attached “permanently” by sewing stitches through the lower portion 104 of pocket 100 and into the finger portions of the glove. Alternatively the storage pocket 100 may be glued or otherwise adhered to the outer surface 99 of the finger portion 40.

Alternatively, storage pocket 100 may be removably attached to the outer surface 99 of the finger portion 40. This removable attachment may take the form of VELCRO-type fasteners positioned as shown in FIG. 3 between the lower portion 104 of pocket 100 and outer surface 99 of finger portion 40. The size and extent of such VELCRO fasteners would be dependent upon size and shape of the outer pocket 100 as well as any need for increased adherence to the glove as brought on by use of a particular player.

As another embodiment, the storage pocket 100 may be removably attached to the glove 10 through the use of multiple male/female snap ring closures combinations as would be appreciated by one skilled in the art with the benefit of this disclosure. Alternatively, and in keeping with other portions of construction of the glove, the storage pocket may be laced onto the finger portion with the use of leather strips or other acceptable materials.

In an alternative embodiment, it may be preferred that storage pocket 10 be spaced from the heel portion 60 and attached to the back portion 71 of web panel 70. Such positioning may be preferred for certain types of gloves. The fastener devices and alternative means of attaching pocket 10 to the finger portion 40 are believed to be applicable to pocket 10 being attached to web panel 70 as disclosed herein.

While the embodiments of the invention discussed above involve a variety of ways to temporarily or permanently attach the storage pocket to the glove, it is also contemplated for the present invention that there are other ways of attaching the storage pocket to the glove as well as ways to selectively open and close the pocket in addition to those specifically disclosed herein.

It should also be appreciated that the specific size and shape of the storage pocket can vary depending upon the size and shape of the particular glove to which it is to be attached as well as the specific articles that the user wishes to store in the storage pocket. Accordingly, the size and shape of the storage pocket can vary widely depending upon the size of the glove and the articles to be stored. However, as discussed, it is believed that it is preferable that the storage pocket be spaced from the heel portion 60 of the glove in order to achieve the advantages of the present invention.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes can readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.