Title:
Double First Base System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This patent application is for a baseball and softball safety base systems generally, and more specifically a double first base system with a removable secondary side base portion.



Inventors:
Hall, Roger E. (Elizabethtown, PA, US)
Application Number:
12/110934
Publication Date:
12/11/2008
Filing Date:
04/28/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B71/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20020137580Field gameSeptember, 2002Hodge et al.
20050101410Inverted mass wedgeMay, 2005Bonneau
20090318251NOVEL TENNIS BALLDecember, 2009Limerkens et al.
20070293330INTER-LEVEL PLAY BILLIARDS GAMEDecember, 2007Garrison et al.
20080220890Ball HouseSeptember, 2008Mccoy
20090270191GAME TABLE ASSEMBLYOctober, 2009Cartwright
20070060412Pitch-mark repair tool for a golf clubMarch, 2007Penton
20020010043Bat with varying circumferential wall thicknessJanuary, 2002Pitsenberger et al.
20060199659ShotwatchTMSeptember, 2006Caldwell
20080242436Move Power System For GolfOctober, 2008Vahary
20090170639Sporting game of sokker golphTMJuly, 2009Wong



Primary Examiner:
KLAYMAN, AMIR ARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MILES & STOCKBRIDGE PC (1751 PINNACLE DRIVE SUITE 1500, TYSONS CORNER, VA, 22102-3833, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A double base system comprising: a base plate including a top portion and a bottom portion, the top portion having a top side and a bottom side, the top side of the top portion having a surrounding beveled edge and means for fastening, the bottom side having at least one edge adapted to removably receive an attachment device, the bottom portion including a shaft having a top end and a bottom end, with the top end being connected to substantially a middle of the bottom side of the top portion and extending substantially perpendicularly away from the bottom side of the top portion, the bottom portion being adapted to mate with and be held in position by a base anchor; a first base top including reciprocal means for fastening located on a bottom side of the first base top that are adapted to be releasably connected to the fastening means on the top portion of the base plate; and a second base top including a base portion having a top surface, a bottom surface, a side wall having a top and a bottom and the side wall extending completely around and downwardly away from a bottom edge of the top surface and a bottom edge of the bottom surface and the bottom of the side wall defining a base edge around the bottom of the second base top, and an integral connector flange as the attachment device and where the integral connector flange has a first wall extending downwardly and away from an edge of the bottom surface and then a second wall extending substantially perpendicularly and away from a bottom of the first wall and substantially parallel to and away from the bottom surface of the base portion, the integral connector flange being adapted to be removably connected to one of the at least one edge on the bottom side of the base plate so that the second base top is located immediately adjacent to the first base top.

2. The double base system of claim 1 wherein the fastening means comprise: a plurality of nipples adapted to releasably engage the reciprocal fastening means on the first base top.

3. The double base system of claim 2 wherein the reciprocal fastening means comprise: a plurality of fastening recesses adapted to releasably engage the plurality of nipples on the base plate.

4. The double base system of claim 1 wherein the at least one edge of the bottom side of the base plate is adapted to removably receive an attachment device comprises: a plurality of recesses separated by a plurality of tabs along the at least one edge of the bottom side of the base plate.

5. The double base system of claim 4 wherein the second wall of the integral connector flange comprises: a plurality of extensions separated by a plurality of tab openings defined in and extending through the second wall and the plurality of extensions and the plurality of tab openings are adapted to removably receive the plurality of recesses and the plurality of tabs along the at least one edge of the bottom side of the base plate.

6. The double base system of claim 5 wherein when the plurality of tabs along the at least one edge of the bottom side of the base plate are inserted into the plurality of tab openings defined in and extending through the second wall and the base plate is connected to the base anchor and placed against a section of ground above the base anchor, the base plate removably secures the second base top in position on top of a section of ground next to the base plate.

7. The double base system of claim 5 wherein the second wall of the integral connector flange further comprises: a groove along a portion of the second wall through which the plurality of tab openings are defined and extend.

8. The double base system of claim 7 wherein the first wall of the integral connector flange comprises: at least one notch adapted to cooperate with at least one detent on the base plate to further secure the second base top to the base plate and the first base top.

9. The double base system of claim 1 wherein the top surface of the second base top has a substantially convex shape.

10. The double base system of claim 9 wherein the top surface of the second base top comprises: a plurality of parallel grooves oriented perpendicular to the integral connector flange.

11. The double base system of claim 10 wherein the bottom surface of the second base top has a substantially concave shape.

12. The double base system of claim 11 wherein the bottom surface of the second base top further comprises: a plurality of parallel ridges running substantially parallel to each other across and extending away from the bottom surface of the second base top and oriented perpendicular to a plane along the base edge of the second base top.

13. The double base system of claim 12 wherein the plurality of parallel ridges extend beyond the plane along the base edge and the part of the parallel ridges extending beyond the plane along the base edge of the second base top have a substantially pointed end.

14. The double base system of claim 13 wherein a cross-section of the part of the parallel ridges extending beyond the plane along the base edge of the second base top has a substantially triangular shape.

15. A double base system comprising: a base plate including a top portion and a bottom portion, the top portion having a top side and a bottom side, the top side of the top portion having a surrounding beveled edge and means for fastening, the bottom portion including a shaft having a top end and a bottom end with the top end being connected to substantially a middle of the bottom side of the top portion and extending substantially perpendicularly away from the bottom side of the top portion, the bottom portion being adapted to mate with and be held in position by a base anchor; a first base top having a top side, a bottom side, a contiguous first base side wall having a top and a bottom and the first base side wall extending completely around and downwardly away from a bottom edge of the top surface, the bottom side including reciprocal means for fastening that are adapted to be releasably connected to the fastening means on the top portion of the base plate, the first base top further including at least one fastening element recess on at least one side of the first base side wall; and a second base top including a base portion having a top surface, a bottom surface, a second base side wall having a top and a bottom and the second base side wall extending completely around and downwardly away from a bottom edge of the top surface and a bottom edge of the bottom surface and the bottom of the second base side wall defining a base edge around the bottom of the second base top, and at least one fastening element as the attachment device located on a single side of the second base side wall with the at least one fastening element being adapted to be removably connected to the least one fastening element recess so that the second base top is located immediately adjacent to the first base top.

16. The double base system of claim 15 wherein the fastening means comprise: a plurality of nipples adapted to releasably engage the reciprocal fastening means on the first base top.

17. The double base system of claim 16 wherein the reciprocal fastening means comprise: a plurality of fastening recesses adapted to releasably engage the plurality of nipples on the base plate.

18. The double base system of claim 15 wherein the at least one fastening element recess on at least one side of the side wall comprises: a plurality of fastening element recesses on the at least one side of the first base side wall, wherein the plurality of fastening element recesses are equidistantly spaced along the length of the one side of the first base side wall and positioned in a substantially linear arrangement to each other.

19. The double base system of claim 18 wherein the at least one fastening element being adapted to be removably connected to the least one fastening element recess comprises: a plurality of fastening elements on a single side of the second base side wall, wherein the plurality of fastening elements are equidistantly spaced along the length of the single side of the second base side wall and positioned in a substantially linear arrangement to each other and wherein the spacing and positioning of the plurality of fastening elements and the plurality of fastening element recesses is substantially identical to permit the removable connection of the plurality of fastening elements with the plurality of fastening element recesses.

20. The double base system of claim 19 wherein the at least one side of the first base side wall and the single side of the second base side wall are adapted to be aligned along a first base line on a ball field so that the entirety of the second base top is located in foul territory and is removable from the first base.

21. The double base system of claim 20 wherein the second base top is adapted to be dislodged from the first base top upon the application of sufficient force supplied by a player sliding into the second base top.

22. The double base system of claim 15 wherein the top surface of the second base top has a substantially convex shape.

23. The double base system of claim 22 wherein the top surface of the second base top comprises: a plurality of parallel grooves oriented perpendicular to the single side of the second base side wall.

24. The double base system of claim 23 wherein the bottom surface of the second base top has a substantially concave shape.

25. The double base system of claim 24 wherein the bottom surface of the second base top further comprises: a plurality of parallel ridges running substantially parallel to each other across and extending away from the bottom surface of the second base top and oriented perpendicular to a plane along the base edge of the second base top.

26. The double base system of claim 25 wherein the plurality of parallel ridges extend beyond the plane along the base edge and the part of the parallel ridges extending beyond the plane along the base edge of the second base top have a substantially pointed end.

27. The double base system of claim 26 wherein a cross-section of the part of the parallel ridges extending beyond the plane along the base edge of the second base top has a substantially triangular shape.

28. The double base system of claim 15 wherein the at least one fastening element recess on at least one side of the first base side wall comprises: at least one circular opening and slotted groove on one side of the first base side wall, wherein each of the at least one circular opening and slotted grooves is adapted to receive a fastening element into the circular opening and permit the fastening element to slide along a length of the slotted groove away from the circular opening and removably engage the slotted groove.

29. The double base system of claim 28 wherein the at least one circular opening and slotted groove is located on a side along a first base line and oriented so that each circular opening is arranged closer to a home plate when the first base top is installed in at a first base position on a ball field and each slotted groove extends away from the circular opening and away from the home plate.

30. The double base system of claim 28 wherein the at least one circular opening and slotted groove is located on a side along a first base line and oriented so that each circular opening is arranged away from a home plate when the first base top is installed in at a first base position on a ball field and each slotted groove extends away from the circular opening and toward the home plate.

31. The double base system of claim 15 wherein the second base top has a height less than one half a height of the first base top.

32. The double base system of claim 1 wherein the second base top has a height less than one half a height of the first base top.

33. A double base system comprising: a base plate including a top portion and a bottom portion, the top portion having a top side and a bottom side, the top side of the top portion having a surrounding beveled edge and means for fastening, the bottom side having at least one edge adapted to removably receive an attachment device, the bottom portion including a shaft having a top end and a bottom end, with the top end being connected to substantially a middle of the bottom side of the top portion and extending substantially perpendicularly away from the bottom side of the top portion, the bottom portion being adapted to mate with and be held in position by a base anchor, the bottom portion further including at least one threaded recess in the bottom side of the top portion adapted to engage a reciprocally threaded fastener element; a first base top including reciprocal means for fastening located on a bottom side of the first base top that are adapted to be releasably connected to the fastening means on the top portion of the base plate; and a second base top including a base portion having a top surface, a bottom surface, a side wall having a top and a bottom and the side wall extending completely around and downwardly away from a bottom edge of the top surface and a bottom edge of the bottom surface and the bottom of the side wall defining a base edge around the bottom of the second base top, and an integral connector flange as the attachment device and where the integral connector flange has one or more finger portions each constructed to frictionally engage at least two interior side walls of a corresponding one of a plurality of cavities of the bottom surface and then a second wall extending substantially perpendicularly and away from a bottom of the first wall and substantially parallel to and away from the bottom surface of the base portion, the integral connector flange being adapted to be removably connected to one of the at least one edge on the bottom side of the base plate and adapted to removably be held in place by the one or more finger portions when at least one of said finger portions engages its corresponding cavity of the bottom portion of the second base top so that the second base top is located immediately adjacent to the first base top.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit of priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/924,011, filed Apr. 26, 2007 and which is herein incorporated in its entirety by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

Baseball and softball bases generally, and more specifically a double first base system with a removable secondary side base portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Non-limiting and non-exhaustive embodiments of the present invention are described with reference to the following figures, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the various views unless otherwise precisely specified.

FIG. 1 is a top view of a portion of a baseball or softball infield showing a double first base system with a removable secondary base portion installed at a first base, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2a is a detailed top view of a removable secondary base portion of a double first base system of FIG. 1 showing a substantially L-shaped flange extending from beneath one side of the removable secondary base portion, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2b is a side view of the removable secondary base portion of FIG. 2a showing the substantially L-shaped flange depending downwardly from a bottom edge of the removable secondary base portion, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2c is a cross-section view along line A-A of FIG. 2b, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2d is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the substantially L-shaped flange shown in FIG. 2c, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3a is a detailed top perspective view of a removable secondary base portion of a double first base system, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3b is an enlarged top cut-away view of the substantially L-shaped flange of the removable secondary base portion of FIG. 3a, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3c is a cross-sectional view of the removable secondary base portion of the double first base along line C-C of FIG. 2b, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3d is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a side of the removable secondary base portion shown in FIG. 3c, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a front side view of an exploded assembly of a double first base system of FIG. 1, including an anchor system, a removable secondary base, and a first base pillow, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a side view of the exploded assembly of the assembly of FIG. 4 as seen from foul territory, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a front side, top perspective view of the exploded assembly of FIG. 4 as seen from foul territory, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a back side, top perspective view of the exploded assembly of FIG. 4 as seen from fair territory, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is an exploded side view of a double first base system, including a base plate portion of an anchor system, a removable secondary base, and a first base pillow, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9a is a detailed top view of a removable secondary base portion of a double first base system of FIG. 1 with multiple nipples extending from a side of the removable secondary base portion, in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9b is a side view of the removable secondary base portion of FIG. 9a showing a nipple extending from a side of the removable secondary base portion, in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9c is a cross-section view along line A-A of FIG. 9b, in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9d is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the nipple shown in FIG. 9c, in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is an exploded side view of a double first base system, including a base plate portion of an anchor system, the removable secondary base of FIG. 9a, and a first base pillow, in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a side view of the exploded assembly of the assembly of FIG. 10 as seen from foul territory, in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a front side, top perspective view of the exploded assembly of FIG. 10 as seen from foul territory, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a side view of a first base pillow as seen from foul territory and for use with the assembly of FIG. 10, in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a close-up cross-sectional view of a nipple, in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 15 is a close-up cross-sectional view of a nipple receiving recess adapted to receive the nipple of FIG. 14, in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 16 is a bottom perspective view of a base plate portion and stanchion of an anchor system showing one edge of the base plate portion adapted to removably receive a reciprocally shaped portion of a removable secondary base, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 17 is a bottom perspective view of the base plate portion and stanchion of the anchor system of FIG. 16 showing a mock-up of a reciprocally shaped portion of a removable secondary base removably positioned on the one edge of the base plate portion adapted to removably receive the reciprocally shaped portion of the removable secondary base, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 18 is a bottom perspective view of an assembly of the double first base system including the base plate portion of the anchor system and the removable secondary base in an assembled or mated state according to various embodiments of the present invention;

FIGS. 19a is a perspective view of an exploded assembly of the double first base system including the base plate of the anchor system and the removable secondary base according to various embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 19b is a cross-section view along line B-B of FIG. 18, in accordance with various embodiments of the invention illustrated with respect to FIG. 18; and

FIG. 19c is a cross-section view along line C-C of FIG. 18, in accordance with various embodiments of the invention illustrated with respect to FIG. 18.

DESCRIPTION

In accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention, a double first base system may include (i.e., comprise) a disengagable (e.g., safety) first base and anchor system, such as, a safety base and anchor system, for example, but not limited to, the safety base systems disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,266,768, 4,398,715, 4,531,733, 4,634,120, 4,744,561, 4,979,740, 5,415,394, 5,556,089, 5,590,874, and 5,772,539, all to the inventor of the present application, and all of which are hereby incorporated in their entireties herein, and a removable secondary base, as variously shown and described in the attached Drawings. In general, the removable secondary base may be manufactured from one or more elastomeric materials, for example, but not limited to, neoprene, to a variety of hardness qualities ranging from about a 40 or less durometer (soft) to about a 90 or higher durometer (hard). For example, but not limited to, in one embodiment of the present invention, the removable secondary base may be made to have a durometer reading of 70 and with a smooth, grooved and/or smooth and grooved top surface. The style and level of hardness may be determined by the age of the players and level of the players skill, for example, for Major League Baseball smooth removable secondary bases with higher durometer readings may be used, while for Little League Baseball small grooved removable secondary bases with lower durometer readings and/or Youth League Softball large grooved removable secondary bases with lower durometer may be used. In those embodiments with grooves, they are, generally, oriented so that when the removable secondary base is installed with the first base, the grooves in the removable secondary base are substantially perpendicular to the first base line. Similarly, lower durometer removable secondary bases will generally be used for non-metal cleats and higher durometer removable secondary bases will generally be used for metal cleats. In addition, the material used for the removable secondary base may include ultra violet (U.V.) ray inhibitors and/or colors, for example, but not limited to, green, yellow, orange, and pink.

In accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention, the removable secondary base may include an L-shaped and downwardly depending flange adapted to cooperate with the anchor system of the first base to fixedly hold the removable secondary base in position next to the first base outside the first baseline in foul territory. The foot portion, i.e., the short bottom portion of, the L-shaped flange may be attached to one side of and depend away from a bottom of the removable secondary base. The upright portion, i.e., the long upright portion of the L-shaped flange may be disposed perpendicular to the foot portion and substantially parallel with the bottom of the removable secondary base. The upright portion may also include a groove running along the length of the L-shaped flange and substantially parallel with the side of the base to which the removable secondary base is attached. The groove may be adapted to conform to a bottom edge portion of the anchor system to enable a secure mating of the removable secondary base and the anchor system. The L-shaped flange may also include openings in the groove in the flange as well as notches in the top of the upright portion to also cooperate with elements of the bottom of the anchor system to enable a more secure attachment between the removable secondary base and the anchor system. The removable secondary base may also have ridges extending from the under side of and along a width of the removable secondary base that extend beyond the bottom of the base for engagement with the dirt under the removable secondary base. These ridges may have a substantially pointed distal end that extends beyond the bottom of the base, for example, the end may be triangular in cross-section, to aid in keeping the removable secondary base stable and in position next to the first base. Alternatively, pyramidal-shaped points may be spaced across the distal end of each ridge to aid in keeping the removable secondary base stable and in position next to the first base, for example, when downward pressure from a base runner is exerted against the top surface of the removable secondary base.

In accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention, the removable secondary base may have a lower height than the first base. Other embodiments are also contemplated in which the removable secondary base may be of the same height as the first base. Although the removable secondary base may also be of a height higher than the first base, it is not expected that this will be desirable or acceptable to baseball and/or softball leagues.

In accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention, the anchor system may include an upright post and a base plate adapted to cooperatively engage with the substantially L-shaped flange on the removable secondary base. The base plate may be, for example, an HB-2-DBL-1 Model Base Plate manufactured by Rogers USA, Inc. of Elizabeth, Pa. Such adapted anchor systems and adapted base plates as described herein designed to cooperatively engage with the substantially L-shaped flange on the removable secondary base may only be suitable for use with the removable secondary base embodiments described herein.

FIG. 1 is a top view of a portion of a baseball or softball infield showing a double first base system installed at a first base, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 1, a portion of a baseball and/or softball infield 100 includes a home plate 110, a first base line 112, a third base line 114, a pitcher's mound 120, a first base 130, and a removable second base 140. The area of infield 100 defined by the right angle between the first base line 112 and the third base line 114 is considered fair territory 150 and the area of the infield 100 outside this area is considered foul territory 160. As shown in FIG. 1, the home plate 110 is located in fair territory 150 at the apex of the right angle created by the first base line 112 and the third base line 114, which aligns with the back edges of the home plate 110, the pitcher's mound is located straight ahead of the home plate 110 in fair territory 150, and the first base 130 is also located in fair territory 150 with one edge of the first base 130, for example, the right edge 132, arranged parallel to the first base line 112. The removable secondary base 140 is located in foul territory 160 with one side of the first base, for example, the left side 144, arranged parallel to the first base line 112 and abutted to the right side 132 of the first base 130. The combination of the first base 130 and the removable secondary base 140 makes up a double first base system 170.

FIG. 2a is a detailed top view of a removable secondary base portion of a double first base system, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The removable secondary base portion 140 of the double first base system 170 of FIG. 1, is shown in FIG. 2a to include a top portion 250 from which an L-shaped integral flange 260 ultimately depends from one side of the removable secondary base portion 140, for example, the left side 144. Multiple grooves 252 having variable lengths are shown extending perpendicular to and centered across a center line X on a top side 254 of the top portion 250. In general, the grooves nearer a middle 256 of the top portion 250 are shorter than the grooves nearer outer edges 257, 258 of the top portion 250.

The L-shaped integral flange 260 in FIGS. 2a, 2b, 2c, and 2d, is shown extending away from the left side 144 of the removable secondary base 140 and the integral flange 260 is shown to include an outer raised portion 262 and an inner grooved portion 264. Multiple openings 266 are defined within the inner grooved portion 264 and adapted to removably mate with a reciprocally shaped bottom portion of the first base 130. In general, the grooved portion 264 is adapted to fit onto a reciprocally-keyed portion of an outer rim of a bottom edge of a top portion of a base plate used to anchor first base 130 in position on infield 100, and the outer raised portion 262 is adapted to fit within a groove running next to the outer rim of the bottom edge of the top portion of the base plate. An outer edge 268 of the L-shaped integral flange 260 is adapted to fit against an inner rim defining an interior side of the groove running next to the outer rim of the bottom edge of the top portion of the base plate. The base plate is shown and described in greater detail in FIGS. 9 and 10. The outer edge 268 of the outer raised portion 262 may include indents, for example, but not limited to, a pair of substantially U-shaped indents, separated by a middle portion 265 of the outer raised portion 262, where the middle portion 265 is shorter than the outer edge 268.

FIG. 2b is a side view of the removable secondary base portion of FIG. 1 showing the substantially L-shaped integral flange depending downwardly from a bottom edge 259 of the removable secondary base portion 140, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 2b, a top end of a foot portion 261 of the L-shaped integral flange 260 may depend downwardly and away from the bottom edge 259 of the removable secondary base portion 140, and a bottom end of the foot portion 261 may connect to the grooved portion 264, which in turn connects to the raised portion 262. The top side 254 of the top portion 250 may have a uniform convex shape such that the top side 254 may have four triangular shaped and substantially equal sides extend from each corner of the top side 254 and ending in the middle 256 of the top portion 250.

FIG. 2c is a cross-section view along line A-A of FIG. 2b, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2d is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the substantially L-shaped integral flange 260 shown in FIG. 2c, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3a is a detailed top perspective view of the removable secondary base portion 140 of the double first base system 170 in FIG. 1, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3b is an enlarged top cut-away view of the substantially L-shaped integral flange 260 of the removable secondary base portion 140 of FIG. 3a, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3c is a cross-sectional view of the removable secondary base portion 140 of the double first base system 170 along line C-C of FIG. 2b, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 3c, removable secondary base portion 140 may include a substantially concave bottom surface 305 away from which multiple ridges 310 may extend substantially perpendicularly away from the bottom surface 305, toward and through an imaginary plane running across the bottom edge 259 of the removable secondary base portion 140. Although ridges 310 are shown to run perpendicular to the L-shaped flange 260, they may also run parallel to the L-shaped flange 260. In addition, each ridge 310 may include multiple protrusions 312, for example, but not limited to, triangular-shaped protrusions located on and across the distal edge of the ridge, and/or pyramidal-shaped protrusions located on and spaced across the distal edge of the ridge.

FIG. 3d is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a side of the removable secondary base portion shown in FIG. 3c, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 3d, an outer wall 320 extends around an outer perimeter of and depends downwardly away from the top side 254 and a bottom of outer wall 320 defines the bottom edge 259 of top portion 250.

FIG. 4 is a front side view of an exploded assembly of the double first base system 170 of FIG. 1, including a base plate 420 of an anchor system, a removable secondary base 140, and a first base pillow, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 4, the double first base system 170 may include first base 130, an anchor system 410, and the removable secondary base 140. The anchor system 410 may include a base plate 420 with a top surface 424 and a bottom surface 426, and a stanchion post 430 affixed to the bottom side of and substantially in the middle of base plate 420. Stanchion post 430 is adapted to fit within an anchor sleeve in an anchor base that may be filled with concrete and buried in the ground. Base plate 420 may include multiple fastener protrusions 422, for example, but not limited to, nipples 422 that may be spaced equidistantly around the top surface 424 of base plate 420, and multiple locator blocks 428 located on the bottom surface 426 of base plate 420. The multiple fastener protrusions 422 may also be spaced individually and randomly as well as in small groups around the top surface 424 of base plate 420.

In FIG. 4, the removable secondary base 140 may include top portion 250 and L-shaped flange 260 depending away from bottom edge 259 along one side of top portion 250. In general, in most embodiments, top portion 250 is shorter in height than first base 130. In fact, in some embodiments top portion 250 is so much shorter that first base 130 that when first base 130 releases/disengages from base plate 420 during a forceful slide back into first base 130 from the side opposite of the removable secondary base 140, the disengaged first base 130 slides up and over the removable secondary base 140.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the exploded assembly of the assembly of FIG. 4 as seen from foul territory, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 5, the first base 130 is seen positioned above the top surface 424 of base plate 420 and in position to releasably connect with the fastener elements 422. Although not shown in FIG. 5, first base 130 has reciprocal fastener element receiving openings defined in and positioned in a bottom of first base 130 similar, but not limited, to that illustrated in FIG. 14. In FIG. 5, base plate 420 is also connected to stanchion 430, which extends downwardly and away from a middle of base plate 420. Base plate 420 may also include multiple recesses 510 in bottom edge 426 that may be adapted to receive and removably fit with L-shaped flange 260, such that when first base 130 is attached to base plate 420, one side of first base 130 is above the L-shaped flange 260 and adjacent a side of removable secondary base 140. Removable secondary base 140 is positioned such that L-shaped flange lies beneath and fits into recesses 510 on the bottom edge 426 of base plate 420.

FIG. 6 is a front side, top perspective view of the exploded assembly of FIG. 4 as seen from foul territory, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 6, the L-shaped flange 260 of the removable secondary base 140 is shown positioned below the recesses 510 in base plate 420, which in turn is positioned below first base 130.

FIG. 7 is a back side, top perspective view of the exploded assembly of FIG. 4 as seen from fair territory, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is an exploded side view of a double first base system, including an anchor system, a removable secondary base, and a first base pillow, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 8, first base 130 is shown above base plate 420, which is seen without stanchion 430. Removable secondary base 140 is seen from a side of removable secondary base 140 that, when removable secondary base 140 is installed with first base 130, would be viewable from a right field side of the removable secondary base 140.

FIG. 9a is a detailed top view of a removable secondary base portion of a double first base system of FIG. 1 with at least one fastener element, for example, but not limited to, nipples extending from a side of the removable secondary base portion, in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention. Although FIG. 9a shows three fastener elements 960, other embodiments are contemplated to include 1, 2, 4, 5, or more fastener elements 960. In FIG. 9a, the removable secondary base portion 140′ of the double first base system 170 of FIG. 1, is shown, in FIG. 9a, to include a top portion 950 from which one or more fastener elements 960, for example, but not limited to, nipples 960 from one side of the removable secondary base portion 140, for example, the left side 144′. Multiple grooves 952 having variable lengths are shown extending perpendicular to and centered across a center line X on a top side 954 of the top portion 950. In general, the grooves nearer a middle 956 of the top portion 950 are shorter than the grooves nearer outer edges 957, 958 of the top portion 950.

The at least one fastener element 960 in FIGS. 9a, 9b, 9c, and 9d, is shown extending away from the left side 144′ of the removable secondary base 140′ and the at least one fastener element 960 is shown to include an outer raised portion 962 and an inner shaft portion 964. Multiple openings (not shown) are defined in a side wall of first base 130 and adapted to releaseably mate with the at least one fastener element 960. In general, the at least one fastener element 960 is adapted to fit onto a reciprocally-keyed recess in first base 130 in position on infield 100.

FIG. 9b is a side view of the removable secondary base portion of FIG. 9a showing a nipple extending from a side of the removable secondary base portion, in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 9b, each of the at least one fastener elements 960 may extend out and away from the left side 144′ of the removable secondary base portion 140′. The top side 954 of the top portion 950 may have a substantially uniform convex shape such that the top side 954 may have four triangular shaped and substantially equal sides extend from each corner of the top side 954 and ending in the middle 956 of the top portion 950.

FIG. 9c is a cross-section view along line A-A of FIG. 9b, in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9d is an enlarged cross-sectional view of the nipple fastener element 960 shown in FIG. 9c, in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is an exploded side view of a double first base system, including a base plate portion of an anchor system, the removable secondary base of FIG. 9a, and a first base pillow, in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 10, first base 130′ is shown above a base plate 920 of an anchor system 910, which is seen without a stanchion. Removable secondary base 140′ is seen from a side of removable secondary base 140′ that, when removable secondary base 140′ is installed with first base 130′, would be viewable from the right field side of the removable secondary base 140′.

FIG. 11 is a side view of the exploded assembly of FIG. 10 as seen from foul territory, in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 11, a first base 130′ is seen positioned above a top surface 924 of a base plate 920 and in position to releasably connect with fastener elements 922. Although not shown in FIG. 9, first base 130′ has reciprocal fastener element receiving openings defined in and positioned in a bottom of first base 130′ similar, but not limited, to that illustrated in FIG. 15. Also, in FIG. 11, first base 130′ is seen to include three fastener element receiving openings 1010 defined in a side of first base 130′. However, other embodiments with 1, 2, 4, 5, or more fastener element receiving openings are contemplated to either equal or exceed the number of fastener elements. Base plate 920 is also connected to a stanchion 930, which extends downwardly and away from a middle of base plate 920. In general, in this embodiment, base plate 920 has a substantially flat bottom edge 926 and top surface 924 is adapted to receive and removably fit on and with a top side of a base anchor portion, such that when first base 130′ is attached to base plate 920, each of the fastener elements 960 on removable secondary base 140 may be releasably connected to an opening 1010.

FIG. 12 is a front side, top perspective view of the exploded assembly of FIG. 10 as seen from foul territory, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is a side view of a first base pillow as seen from foul territory and for use with the assembly of FIG. 10, in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 13, a first base 130″ is seen to include three fastener element receiving openings and grooves 1310 defined in a side of first base 130″. In general, each receiving opening and groove 1310 may include a substantially circular opening 1312 defined in the side of first base 130″ and the substantially circular opening 1312 is connected to and in communication with a slotted groove 1314. Fastener elements 960 may be inserted into the substantially circular opening 1312 and then slid away from the substantially circular opening 1312 toward a distal end of the slotted groove 1314. In general, as the fastener elements 960 are sliding toward the distal end of the slotted groove 1314 the walls of the slotted grooves and exterior of the fastener elements frictionally engage and hold the double first base system 170 together. This tends to hold the removable secondary base in place next to the first base 130″ even when subjected to a force from the home plate and/or second base sides. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 13, the orientation of the openings and slotted grooves requires the fastener elements 960 of the removable secondary base 140′ to be pushed into the substantially circular opening 1312 and then the removable secondary base 140′ may be pushed toward the distal end of the slotted groove 1314. In other words the removable secondary base 140′ may be pushed away from home plate and toward right field.

However, an alternative embodiment is also contemplated in which each of the circular openings and slotted grooves are oriented 180° in the opposite direction to that shown in FIG. 13. In this embodiment, the fastener elements 960 of the removable secondary base 140′ may be pushed into the substantially circular opening 1312 and then the removable secondary base 140′ may be pushed toward the distal end of the slotted groove 1314. In this embodiment, the removable secondary base 140′ may be pushed toward home plate to frictionally engage the fastener elements 960 and the walls in the slotted opening 1314. As a result, this tends to hold the removable secondary base 140′ in place next to the first base 130″ even when subjected to a force from the home plate side, such as when a player slides into first base coming from home plate.

FIG. 14 is a close-up cross-sectional view of a fastener element, for example, but not limited to, a nipple or post anchor, in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention. In FIG. 14, details of a nipple 960 are seen to include, for example, but not limited to, nipple 960 may extend above a surface from which it projects by approximately 0.47″. Nipple 960 is shown to have an initial beveled foot portion 1431 starting with a diameter of approximately 0.625″ and after about 0.06″ tapering down to a first constant diameter column 1432 with a diameter of approximately 0.5″ and a length of approximately 0.1″. First constant diameter column 1432 ends and a second constant diameter column 1433 with a diameter of approximately 0.625″ and a length of approximately 0.09″, which creates a ledge 1435 to rest against an interior lip 1535 in a nipple recess 1505 in FIG. 15 to removably hold fastener element 960 in place within recess 1505. Returning to FIG. 14, second constant diameter column 1433 is subsequently connected to a tapered cap 1437 that tapers inwardly away from second constant diameter column 1433 toward a substantially flat top 1439 that ends approximately 0.47″ above the second constant diameter column 1433.

FIG. 15 is a close-up cross-sectional view of a nipple receiving recess adapted to receive the nipple of FIG. 14, in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention. In FIG. 15, details of nipple recess 1505 are seen to include, for example, but not limited to, a wall 1510 with a thickness of at least 0.75″. Recess 1505 is shown to have an initial beveled opening starting with a diameter of approximately 0.75″ and after about 0.062″ tapering down to a first constant diameter column 1532 with a diameter of approximately 0.6″ and a length of approximately 0.063″. First constant diameter column 1532 ends and a second constant diameter column 1533 with a diameter of approximately 0.75″ and a length of approximately 0.085″, which creates an interior lip 1535 to hold a post anchor and/or fastener. Second constant diameter column 1533 is subsequently connected to a tapered top portion 1537 that tapers inwardly away from second constant diameter column 1533 toward a substantially a flat top 1539.

FIG. 16 is a bottom perspective view of a base plate portion and stanchion of an anchor system showing one edge of the base plate portion adapted to removably receive a reciprocally shaped L-shaped flange of a removable secondary base, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In FIG. 16 a mockup L-shaped flange 1610 is shown laying diagonally across a bottom of base plate 420 on which is shown bottom edge 426, locator blocks 428, stanchion 430, and recesses 510 into which the mockup L-shaped flange 1610 is adapted to removably fit.

FIG. 17 is a bottom perspective view of the base plate portion and stanchion of an anchor system of FIG. 16 showing the mock-up of the L-shaped flange of a removable secondary base removably positioned on the one edge of the base plate portion adapted to removably receive the L-shaped flange of the removable secondary base, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

Additional embodiments are also contemplated that may include the L-shaped flange 260 and one or more fastening elements 960, for example, one or more nipples as shown in FIGS. 9a-9d, 12, and 14. This configuration may be used with either the fastener element recesses 1010 of FIGS. 10, 11, 12 and 15 or the circular openings 1312 and grooves 1314 of FIG. 13. In general, one or two fastener elements 960 and fastener element recesses 1010 should be sufficient in combination with the L-shaped flange 260 to hold the removable secondary base 140 firmly in place next to the first base 130. In addition, in another embodiment, the removable secondary base 140 with L-shaped flange 260 may be fastened to the bottom side of base plate 420 using a large flat head screw or a bolt and washer in cooperation with the pair of U-shaped indents 263 in the L-shaped flange 260 and a threaded recess in the bottom side of base plate 420. Alternatively, the head of the bolt may be embedded in the bottom side of base plate 420 with the threads of the bolt extending outwardly from the bottom side of base plate 420 so that they extend up through the pair of U-shaped indents 263 to be able to receive a bolt with or without a washer to fasten the L-shaped flange 260 to the base plate 420.

Furthermore, FIG. 18 is a bottom view of an assembly of the double first base system 170, including the base plate 420 of the anchor system 410, the removable secondary base 140, in an assembled or mated state according to various embodiments of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 18, the concave bottom surface 305 of the removable secondary base 140 can include a plurality of cavity portions 340. The cavity portions 340 can be formed by the ridges 310 of the bottom surface 305. In various embodiments, the triangular-shaped protrusions 312 on the ridges 310 of the bottom surface 305 of the removable secondary base portion 140 can be located at the intersections of the ridges 310. Furthermore, each of the U-shaped indents 263 in the L-shaped flange 260 can substantially surround a circular portion 440 of the base plate 420. In various embodiments, the surface of the circular portion 440 can be higher than or raised with respect to the surface of the base plate 420, lower than or recessed with respect to the surface of the base plate 420, or at the same height or level with the surface of the base plate 420.

As further shown in FIG. 18, in various additional embodiments the L-shaped flange 260′ can include one or more finger portions 270 which extend outwardly from the foot portion 261. FIG. 19a is a perspective view of an exploded assembly of the double first base system 170, including the base plate 420 of the anchor system 410, the removable secondary base 140, according to various embodiments of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 19a, in various embodiments the L-shaped flange 260′ can include one or more finger portions 270 which extend outwardly from the foot portion 261. Each finger portion 270 can be constructed to have dimensions that frictionally engage with at least two interior side wall portions of a corresponding cavity portion 340 of the concave bottom surface 305 of the removable secondary base 140. Each of the finger portions 270 can be constructed to have a shape substantially conforming to, or fitting within, one of the cavity portions 340 included in the underside 305 of the removable secondary base portion 140. For example, as shown in FIG. 19a, in various embodiments the finger portion 270 can have a three-dimensional “ramp” shape (e.g., a triangular shape from a two-dimensional side view of the finger portion 270, with a third dimension of a width). In at least one embodiment, all finger portions 270 can have the same dimensions.

In these embodiments, the finger portions 270 can provide additional attachment force as compared to embodiments without the finger portions 270, such that a breakaway force required to separate the removable secondary base 140 from the anchor system 410 is increased for embodiments having the finger portions 270. One or more finger portions 270 can be provided by L-shaped flange 260′. In particular, the breakaway force provided by the system 170 can be a function of the number of finger portions 270 provided with the L-shaped flange 260′, the degree of mechanical interference between the finger portions 270 and the cavity portions 340, and the hardness of the material used to form the finger portions 270. In various embodiments, breakaway force can be adjusted through selection of one or more of these factors.

FIG. 19b is a cross-section view along line B-B of FIG. 18, in accordance with various embodiments of the invention illustrated with respect to FIG. 18.

FIG. 19c is a cross-section view along line C-C of FIG. 18, in accordance with various embodiments of the invention illustrated with respect to FIG. 18.

As shown in FIGS. 19b and 19c, a solid strip of material 275 (not shown in FIG. 18) can be attached to the topmost surface (with respect to the cavity 340) of the finger portions 270 to provide additional strength against tearing and stability against rolling or twisting of the finger portions 270 for side-to-side movement caused by, for example, a lateral force being applied against the removable secondary base axially or coaxially along the foul line. In various embodiments, the solid strip 275 can have a thickness substantially the same as the dimension of the triangular-shaped protrusions 312. For example, in at least one embodiment, the solid strip can have dimensions of about ¼ inch in thickness by 12.125 inches in length by 2 inches in width. The solid strip 275 can be integrally molded with the L-shaped flange 260′ as a single piece.

In accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention, a double base system including a base plate including a top portion and a bottom portion, the top portion having a top side and a bottom side, the top side of the top portion having a surrounding beveled edge and means for fastening, the bottom side having at least one edge adapted to removably receive an attachment device, the bottom portion including a shaft having a top end and a bottom end, with the top end being connected to substantially a middle of the bottom side of the top portion and extending substantially perpendicularly away from the bottom side of the top portion, the bottom portion being adapted to mate with and be held in position by a base anchor. The system further including a first base top including reciprocal means for fastening located on a bottom side of the first base top that are adapted to be releasably connected to the fastening means on the top portion of the base plate. The system still further including a second base top including a base portion having a top surface, a bottom surface, a side wall having a top and a bottom and the side wall extending completely around and downwardly away from a bottom edge of the top surface and a bottom edge of the bottom surface and the bottom of the side wall defining a base edge around the bottom of the second base top, and an integral connector flange as the attachment device and where the integral connector flange has a first wall extending downwardly and away from an edge of the bottom surface and then a second wall extending substantially perpendicularly and away from a bottom of the first wall and substantially parallel to and away from the bottom surface of the base portion, the integral connector flange being adapted to be removably connected to one of the at least one edge on the bottom side of the base plate so that the second base top is located immediately adjacent to the first base top.

In accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention, a double base system including a base plate including a top portion and a bottom portion, the top portion having a top side and a bottom side, the top side of the top portion having a surrounding beveled edge and means for fastening, the bottom portion including a shaft having a top end and a bottom end with the top end being connected to substantially a middle of the bottom side of the top portion and extending substantially perpendicularly away from the bottom side of the top portion, the bottom portion being adapted to mate with and be held in position by a base anchor. The system further including a first base top having a top side, a bottom side, a contiguous first base side wall having a top and a bottom and the first base side wall extending completely around and downwardly away from a bottom edge of the top surface, the bottom side including reciprocal means for fastening that are adapted to be releasably connected to the fastening means on the top portion of the base plate, the first base top further including at least one fastening element recess on at least one side of the first base side wall. The system still further including a second base top including a base portion having a top surface, a bottom surface, a second base side wall having a top and a bottom and the second base side wall extending completely around and downwardly away from a bottom edge of the top surface and a bottom edge of the bottom surface and the bottom of the second base side wall defining a base edge around the bottom of the second base top, and at least one fastening element as the attachment device located on a single side of the second base side wall with the at least one fastening element being adapted to be removably connected to the least one fastening element recess so that the second base top is located immediately adjacent to the first base top.

In accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention, a double base system including a base plate including a top portion and a bottom portion, the top portion having a top side and a bottom side, the top side of the top portion having a surrounding beveled edge and means for fastening, the bottom side having at least one edge adapted to removably receive an attachment device, the bottom portion including a shaft having a top end and a bottom end, with the top end being connected to substantially a middle of the bottom side of the top portion and extending substantially perpendicularly away from the bottom side of the top portion, the bottom portion being adapted to mate with and be held in position by a base anchor, the bottom portion further including at least one threaded recess in the bottom side of the top portion adapted to engage a reciprocally threaded fastener element. The system further including a first base top including reciprocal means for fastening located on a bottom side of the first base top that are adapted to be releasably connected to the fastening means on the top portion of the base plate. The system still further including a second base top including a base portion having a top surface, a bottom surface, a side wall having a top and a bottom and the side wall extending completely around and downwardly away from a bottom edge of the top surface and a bottom edge of the bottom surface and the bottom of the side wall defining a base edge around the bottom of the second base top, and an integral connector flange as the attachment device and where the integral connector flange has a first wall extending downwardly and away from an edge of the bottom surface and then a second wall extending substantially perpendicularly and away from a bottom of the first wall and substantially parallel to and away from the bottom surface of the base portion, the integral connector flange being adapted to be removably connected to one of the at least one edge on the bottom side of the base plate and adapted to removably receive and be held in place by the at least one reciprocally threaded fastener element when it engages the at least one threaded recess in the bottom side of the top portion so that the second base top is located immediately adjacent to the first base top.

In accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention, a double first base system as substantially shown and described herein.

In accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention, a removable secondary base system as substantially shown and described herein.

While the present invention has been described in conjunction with a number of embodiments, the invention is not to be limited to the description of the embodiments contained herein, but rather is defined by the claims appended hereto and their equivalents. It is further evident that many alternatives, modifications, and variations would be or are apparent to those of ordinary skill in the applicable arts. Accordingly, all such alternatives, modifications, equivalents, and variations that are within the spirit and scope of this invention.