Title:
Portable Bat Rack Device
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A portable bat rack configured for being mounted on a support surface and for receiving at least one bat to be supported by the portable bat rack. The portable bat rack includes a first rack member and a second rack member. The second rack member is movable between an open position and a closed position by pivoting the second rack member with respect to the first rack member about the pivot connection. When in the open position, the second rack member is positioned for receiving a bat for supporting the bat. When in the closed position, the second rack member is positioned for transport or storage of the portable bat rack.


Inventors:
Longanecker, Patrick (St. Peters, MO, US)
Application Number:
13/351995
Publication Date:
07/19/2012
Filing Date:
01/17/2012
Assignee:
LONGANECKER PATRICK
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B81/00
View Patent Images:
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Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A portable bat rack configured for being mounted on a support surface and for receiving at least one bat to be supported by the portable bat rack, the portable bat rack comprising: a rack body including a first rack member and a second rack member, the first rack member being configured for engaging the support surface when the rack body is mounted on the support surface, the second rack member being configured for receiving said at least one bat for supporting said at least one bat, the second rack member having a pivot connection with the first rack member such that the second rack member is pivotable with respect to the first rack member about the pivot connection; and at least one mounting member connected to the rack body, the mounting member being configured for mounting the rack body on the support surface; wherein the second rack member is movable between an open position and a closed position by pivoting the second rack member with respect to the first rack member about the pivot connection, when in the open position the second rack member being positioned for receiving said at least one bat for supporting said bat, and when in said closed position the second rack member being positioned for transport or storage of the portable bat rack.

2. A portable bat rack as set forth in claim 1 wherein an opening is formed in and extends through the second rack member for receiving and supporting said at least one bat, the opening including a portion which opens out of a first face of the second rack member and a portion which opens out of a second face of the second rack member, the first face being on a generally opposite side of the second rack member than the second face, and the first face facing in a generally opposite direction than the second face.

3. A portable bat rack as set forth in claim 2 wherein the first rack member includes a rear surface which faces and is configured for engaging the support surface when the rack body is mounted on the support surface, and the first rack member includes a front surface which faces in a generally opposite direction than the rear surface, the front surface facing away from the support surface when the rack body is mounted on the support surface.

4. A portable bat rack as set forth in claim 3 wherein when the rack body is mounted on the support surface and the second rack member is in the open position, the first face of the second rack member faces upward, and when the second rack member is in the closed position the first face of the second rack member faces the front surface of the first rack member.

5. A portable bat rack as set forth in claim 4 wherein the pivot connection includes a hinge connected to the front surface of the first rack member and connected to the first face of the second rack member.

6. A portable bat rack as set forth in claim 3 wherein the pivot connection is positioned with respect to the first and second rack members such that when the second rack member is in its open position the second rack member engages the first rack member to support the second rack member in said open position.

7. A portable bat rack as set forth in claim 1 wherein said first and second rack members each have a width extending generally parallel to each other and said first and second rack members each have a length extending generally perpendicular to its width, wherein when the second rack member is in the open position the length of the second rack member extends generally perpendicular to the length of the first rack member, and wherein when the second rack member is in the closed position the length of the second rack member extends generally parallel to the length of the second rack member.

8. A portable bat rack as set forth in claim 1 wherein said mounting member is connected to said first rack member.

9. A portable bat rack as set forth in claim 2 wherein said mounting member is movable between first and second positions with respect to the first rack member, wherein when the mounting member is in the first position the mounting member is positioned for engaging the support structure for mounting the rack body on the support structure, and wherein when the mounting member is in the second position the mounting member is positioned for transport or storage of the portable bat rack.

10. A portable bat rack as set forth in claim 9 wherein when the mounting member is in the second position the mounting member wraps around an edge of the first mounting member.

11. A portable bat rack as set forth in claim 9 wherein when the second rack member is in the closed position and the mounting member is in the second position the mounting member engages the second rack member for maintaining the second rack member in the closed position.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present disclosure is directed generally to a portable rack device and more specifically to a portable rack device for storing bats such as baseball bats or softball bats.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

During a game, baseball and softball players customarily store their bats by interlocking the butt end of the bat in the opening of a nearby chain link fence. Unfortunately, this conventional storage technique has several flaws. Bats stored in this manner do not lie flat against the face of the fence and, therefore, interfere with players as they try to walk along the fence. Bats also have a tendency to fall out of the fence and roll around on the ground. This has the potential to cause damage to the bats and also poses a risk to players who may trip and fall on the bats as they attempt to step over them.

The purpose of the present invention is to solve the aforementioned problems by providing an easily transportable bat rack that allows quick, simple, and safe storage for bats.

SUMMARY

In one aspect, the present invention is directed to a portable bat rack configured for being mounted on a support surface and for receiving at least one bat to be supported by the portable bat rack. The portable bat rack includes a rack body including a first rack member and a second rack member. The first rack member is configured for engaging the support surface when the rack body is mounted on the support surface. The second rack member is configured for receiving said at least one bat for supporting said at least one bat. The second rack member has a pivot connection with the first rack member such that the second rack member is pivotable with respect to the first rack member about the pivot connection. At least one mounting member is connected to the rack body. The mounting member is configured for mounting the rack body on the support surface. The second rack member is movable between an open position and a closed position by pivoting the second rack member with respect to the first rack member about the pivot connection. In the open position, the second rack member is positioned for receiving the at least one bat for supporting the bat. In the closed position the second rack member is positioned for transport or storage of the portable bat rack.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a portable bat rack device according to the present invention, the portable bat rack device being shown in a fully opened and installed configuration;

FIG. 2 is another perspective view of the portable bat rack device of FIG. 1, the portable bat rack device being shown with its top plate and bottom plate folded together but with mounting hooks still attached to a fence;

FIG. 3 is another perspective view of the portable bat rack device, the portable bat rack device being shown in a fully closed position;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the portable bat rack device;

FIG. 5 is a rear view of the portable bat rack device with its hooks in an open position;

FIG. 6 is a bottom view of the portable bat rack device showing openings formed in the bottom plate;

FIG. 7A is another perspective view of the portable bat rack device in its open position and being shown in use holding bats;

FIG. 7B is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG. 7A;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the portable bat rack device in its closed position;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a portable bat rack device, the bat rack device being shown in an open position, and hooks of the portable bat rack device being shown in an open position;

FIG. 10 is a perspective of the portable bat rack device of FIG. 9, the bat rack device being shown in a closed position, and the hooks being shown in a closed or locking position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to the drawings and specifically to FIG. 1, a portable bat rack device is generally indicated at 1. In general, the portable bat rack device includes a rack body generally indicated at 1A. The rack body includes a rack member 2 and a rack member 3 which are connected to each other by a pivot connection 4. The rack body is mountable on a mounting surface such as a chain link fence using mounting members 5, which are connected to the rack member 3. In the illustrated embodiment, the first and second rack members are bottom and top plates 2, 3, the pivot connection includes two hinges 4, and the mounting member includes two hooks 5.

Desirably, the bottom plate 2 is formed and adapted to accommodate commercially available bats used to play baseball and softball. Although the size and shape of the openings formed in the bottom plate can vary, it is preferred that each opening 6 has a circular shape and includes a slot 7 for selectively adding or removing a bat from the device. This configuration is depicted in FIG. 6. The number of openings 6 may vary. In one instance the number of openings 6 is five or fewer, and in another instance the number of openings 6 is three or fewer. This permits the device 1 to be readily portable. The diameter d of the circular opening should be smaller than the butt end of the bat and the slot should be wide enough to accommodate the handle of the bat intended to be stored in the device.

The top plate 3 is pivotally attached to the bottom plate by way of one or more hinges 4. These hinges permit the top plate and bottom plate to be selectively opened for use and closed for storage. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, the top plate also has attached to it one or more mounting hooks 5. These hooks attach to the top plate in such a way so as to allow rotation of the hooks between a substantially vertical use position and a substantially horizontal stowed position. In one embodiment (not shown) the hooks may have rounded free ends.

When in the open position, the top plate and bottom plate of the illustrated embodiment are arranged substantially perpendicular to one another and are held in position by the hinges 4 and by force applied by the lower portion of the top plate against the lower surface of the bottom plate. This arrangement of the top plate, bottom plate, and hinges is depicted in FIG. 4. When open, the mounting hooks 5 of the device are oriented substantially vertically and are positioned to allow the hooks to engage openings in a vertical structure such as a fence (and preferably a chain link fence). The hooks 5 and top plate 3 engage the fence, holding the device in place.

Once the mounting hooks are engaged with the vertical structure, a bat can be added to each opening in the device by sliding the bat through slot 7 and allowing the butt end of the bat to come to rest against the opening 6. Removal of the bat is accomplished by lifting the bat away from opening 6 and sliding the bat out of slot 7.

Once the bats are removed from the bat rack device, it can be closed for transportation. To close the preferred embodiment, the bottom plate 2 is pivoted upward about the hinges 4 until the bottom plate comes to rest against the face of the top plate 3. Mounting hooks 5 are disengaged from the vertical structure and are rotated out and down so they are positioned horizontally. As shown in FIG. 8, when the mounting hooks are in this closed position, the mounting hooks extend around opposite side edges of the top plate of the device. In another embodiment, illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10, the mounting hooks 105 are sufficiently large so that when they are rotated horizontally, they extend from the back of the top plate 103 around the side edges of both the top and bottom plates 103, 102 and to the front of the bottom plate. In this way, the mounting hooks 105 wrap around the top and bottom plates 102, 102 and hold them against one another. This arrangement keeps the device 101 closed during transportation.

Although the illustrated embodiments include circular openings, two hinges, and two mounting hooks, other combinations and variations are possible without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, other types of rack members, pivot connections, and mounting members may be used without departing from the scope of the present invention. Other numbers of openings or opening shapes could be used. Likewise, other top and bottom plate shapes and other numbers of hinges and mounting hooks could also be incorporated without departing from the scope of the invention.

When introducing elements of the present invention or the preferred embodiment(s) thereof, the articles “a,” “an,” “the,” and “said” are intended to mean that there are one or more of those elements. The terms “comprising,” “including,” and “having” are intended to be inclusive and mean that there may be additional elements other than the listed elements.

As various changes could be made in the above constructions, products, and methods without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description and shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.





 
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