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1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to a practice bat and more particularly to a practice bat for assisting batters to learn proper mechanics for hitting a thrown ball such as a baseball or softball.
2. Description of the Related Art
Many types of practice bats have been previously provided in an attempt to assist batters to learn proper mechanics for hitting a thrown ball such as a baseball or the like. All of the practice bats of which applicant is aware have a handle which is circular in cross-section and which generally have a barrel portion which also has a circular cross-section. The problem with the utilization of a practice bat having a handle portion which is circular in cross-section is that the practice bat does not force the batter to properly place his/her hands around the handle portion. Further, the practice bats of which applicant has knowledge do not have the proper visual effects associated therewith which makes it difficult for the batter to properly swing the practice bat at a thrown ball.
A practice bat is described for assisting batters to learn proper mechanics for hitting a thrown ball such as a baseball or softball. The practice bat is comprised of an elongated flat member having a flat handle portion at one end thereof and a flat, generally paddle-like portion at its other end. A circular opening is formed in the paddle-like portion which has a diameter larger than the ball being thrown to the batter. The thrown ball may be a wiffle ball, tennis ball, rag ball, etc. The end of the handle portion has a slightly enlarged portion which aids in preventing the batter's hands from slipping from the bat. The flat configuration of the handle portion results in opposing planar faces against which the batter places the palms of his/her hands which encourages the batter to properly rotate his/her hands into the proper position so that the thrown ball may pass through the circular opening in the practice bat as the batter swings the practice bat.
It is therefore a principal object of the invention to provide an improved practice bat for assisting batters to learn proper mechanics for hitting a thrown ball whether the ball is a baseball or softball.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a unique practice bat which includes a flat handle portion which ensures that the batter will place his/her hands in the proper position on the bat.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a practice bat of the type described which provides the batter with a unique visual view of the practice bat in relation to the thrown ball.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a practice bat of the type described which is durable in use, refined in appearance and economical of manufacture.
These and other objects will be apparent to those skilled in the art.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the practice bat;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the practice bat;
FIG. 3 is an end view of the practice bat from the left side of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an end view of the practice bat from the right side of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a typical side view of the practice bat;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of illustrating the manner in which the batter places his/her hands on the practice bat; and
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of illustrating a right-handed batter using the practice bat.
The practice bat of this invention is referred to generally by the reference numeral 10 and is preferably constructed of three quarter inch thick wood, but may be constructed of other materials such as aluminum, fiberglass, plastic, etc. Bat 10 includes opposite ends 12 and 14 and opposite sides 16 and 18. Bat 10 includes a flat handle portion 20 at end 12 which preferably has an enlarged portion 22 to prevent the batter's hands from slipping from the handle portion 20.
The practice bat 10 is provided with a paddle-like portion 24 adjacent end 14 which has a circular opening 26 formed therein, as illustrated in the drawings. Opening 26 is slightly larger than the diameter of the thrown ball which may be the size of a baseball or softball. The length of the bat 10 will depend upon the age of the batters being trained. Assuming that the batter is a right-hand batter, as seen in FIGS. 6 and 7, the batter will grasp the handle portion 20 with his/her left hand 27 so that the palm of the batter's left hand will be flush with the side 16 of the bat 10 and will grasp the flat handle portion 20 with his/her right hand so that the palm of his/her right hand 28 is in flush engagement with the side 18 of handle portion 20. This ensures that the batter will have his/her hands properly positioned on the handle portion 20 of the bat 10 so as to learn proper mechanics for hitting a thrown ball.
Should the batter be a left-hand batter, the batter will place his/her right hand at the outer end of the handle portion 20 with the palm of the right hand being in flush engagement with side 18 and will place his/her left hand on the handle portion 20 so that the palm portion of the batter's left hand will be in flush engagement with side 16 of the handle portion 20.
In use, the batter will attempt to hit balls whether they be tossed or thrown so that the ball 30 will pass through the circular opening 26 as the batter swings the bat 10 which means that the batter has properly rotated his/her hands so that the enlarged portion 22 will be substantially vertically disposed in the hitting area, as seen in FIG. 7, so that the ball 30 passes through the circular opening 26. If the batter does not properly rotate his/her hands during the swing, the side 18 of the enlarged portion 22 will not be vertically disposed which effectively reduces the size of the opening 26 as the batter swings the bat through the hitting area making it much more difficult for the batter to cause the ball 30 to pass through the opening 26 as the batter makes a swing.
Should the batter strike the thrown ball either inwardly or outwardly of the opening 26, the ball will not pass therethrough and the batter will realize that he/she has not swung or properly positioned the bat in the proper manner. The enlarged portion 22 provides the batter to visually observe the enlarged portion 22 and the circular opening 26 during the swing so that the batter will be able to learn the proper mechanics for hitting the thrown ball.
Although the drawings illustrate a practice bat wherein the batter places both of his/her hands on the handle portion 20 in the manner discussed above, the batter may grasp the handle portion 20 with only one hand with the palm of that hand being flush with either of the sides 16 or 18. If the bat is to be used with a single hand, the overall length of the bat should be reduced from that shown in the drawings.
Thus it can be seen that the practice bat of this invention accomplishes at least all of its stated objectives.