Title:
Bat or the like having storage feature
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sporting goods set consists of bat assembly and a number of balls contained, when not in use, in a chamber defined within the body of the bat. A closure member is securely but displaceably engaged with the body to maintain the balls in stored condition.



Inventors:
Dunnack, Jacob (Willimantic, CT, US)
Dunnack, Joshua J. (Willimantic, CT, US)
Application Number:
09/791041
Publication Date:
10/25/2001
Filing Date:
02/22/2001
Assignee:
DUNNACK JACOB
DUNNACK JOSHUA J.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B59/06; A63B59/00; (IPC1-7): A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ira S. Dorman (East Hartford, CT, US)
Claims:

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed is:



1. A sporting goods set comprised of a bat assembly and a plurality of objects to be driven thereby, said bat assembly being comprised of a relatively rigid body and a closure member displaceably and replaceably attached thereto, said body defining at least a portion of a chamber and an opening thereinto and said attached closure member at least substantially closing said opening; said objects being constructed for driven contact by said bat assembly, and said bat assembly being constructed for concurrent containment of said plurality of objects in said chamber, displacement of said closure member providing access to said contained objects.

2. The sporting goods set of claim 1 wherein said body of said bat assembly has a first end and comprises thereat a relatively large diameter, generally cylindrical, open-ended portion, said cylindrical portion defining said chamber portion and said open end of said cylindrical portion defining said opening thereinto.

3. The sporting goods set of claim 2 wherein said closure member includes a generally cylindrical, open-ended sidewall portion interengaged with said generally cylindrical portion of said body at said open end thereof, said closure member thereby closing said open end of said body, and vice versa.

4. The sporting goods set of claim 3 wherein said generally cylindrical sidewall portion of said closure member and said generally cylindrical portion of said body are telescopically interengaged, said closure member being removable entirely from said body.

5. The sporting goods set of claim 4 wherein one of said interengaged portions has at least one projecting lug thereon and the other of said interengaged portions has at least one circumferentially extending channel section thereon, said circumferentially extending channel section being dimensioned, configured, and positioned to engage said at least one lug and thereby to increase the security of interengagement of said interengaged portions.

6. The sporting goods set of claim 5 wherein said other of said interengaged portions additionally has at least one longitudinally extending channel section leading inwardly from said open end thereof to said circumferentially extending channel section, whereby said one and said other interengaged portions can be secured in mutual assembly by relative rotation thereof so as to move said one lug, inserted along said longitudinally extending channel section to a position in registry with said circumferentially extending channel section, away from said longitudinally extending channel section.

7. The sporting goods set of claim 3 wherein said generally cylindrical sidewall portion of said closure member and said generally cylindrical portion of said body have contiguous exterior surfaces that lie substantially flush with one another, and have exterior circumferential marginal elements that mate with one another with substantially no gap therebetween.

8. The sporting goods set of claim 1 wherein said bat assembly is of molded plastic construction.

9. The sporting goods set of claim 8 wherein said body of said bat assembly is integrally formed, as a single piece.

10. The sporting goods set of claim 8 wherein said bat assembly is hollow along substantially its entire length.

11. The sporting goods set of claim 1 wherein said bat assembly is in the form of a baseball or softball bat and each of said objects is in the form of a baseball or softball, respectively.

12. The sporting goods set of claim 11 wherein said body of said bat assembly is rectilinear and of generally circular cross section along substantially its entire length, and comprises a relatively small diameter handle portion at the end opposite to said first end, and a generally conical transition portion between said cylindrical portion and said relatively small diameter portion.

13. The sporting goods set of claim 11 wherein said bat assembly is about 20 to 34 inches in length and said cylindrical portion of said bat assembly body is about 2.5 to 3.25 inches in diameter.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of Provisional Application No. 60/194,115, filed Apr. 3, 2000 in the name of Jacob Dunnack.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] A number of popular sports games, including for example baseball, softball, golf, tennis, and ice and field hockey, are played by striking objects (i.e., balls and pucks) with bats of suitable form (variously referred to as clubs, rackets, and sticks). Because the bats and the driven objects are necessarily used together as functional sets, the convenience of storage and transport would be enhanced by providing means for readily maintaining the components of the set in assembly with one another. Hollow molded plastic bats are of course known in the art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Accordingly, it is the broad object of the present invention to provide a novel sporting goods set wherein the driving component and the driven components of the set are readily maintained in assembly with one another.

[0004] A more specific object of the invention is to provide such a sporting goods set which is self-contained, and in which the components are maintained in assembly without need for any extraneous means.

[0005] A further specific object of the invention is to provide such a sporting goods set comprised of a baseball- or softball-style bat, and a plurality of balls.

[0006] It has now been found that certain of the foregoing and related objects of the invention are attained by the provision of a sporting goods set comprised of a bat assembly and a plurality of objects adapted for being driven thereby. The bat assembly is constructed for containment concurrently of the plurality of objects, and is comprised of a relatively rigid body and an attached closure member, the body defining at least a portion of a chamber and an opening thereinto. The closure member serves to at least substantially close the opening, and is displaceable to provide access to the stored objects, and replaceable for use.

[0007] In preferred embodiments the bat assembly will simulate a conventional baseball or softball bat, and each of objects to be driven will correspondingly be in the form of a baseball or a softball. The body of such a bat assembly will normally be rectilinear and of generally circular cross section along substantially its entire length, and it will comprise a relatively small diameter handle portion at one end, a relatively large diameter, generally cylindrical portion at the opposite end, and a generally conical transition portion therebetween. The cylindrical portion of the body defines the ball-containing chamber portion, and has an open end defining the chamber access opening. Typically, a bat assembly of baseball form will be about 20 to 34 inches in length and about 2.5 to 3.25 inches in a diameter (measured at the cylindrical portion).

[0008] The closure member will advantageously include a generally cylindrical, open-ended sidewall portion interengaged with the generally cylindrical portion of the body for closing the open end thereof (and vice versa); the cylindrical portions of the body and closure member will advantageously be telescopically interengaged. To secure the parts in assembly, one of the interengaged portions may have at least one projecting lug thereon with the other portion having a circumferentially extending channel section positioned for engagement with the lug, as by relative rotation of the parts, and a longitudinally extending channel section may lead inwardly to the circumferentially extending section to facilitate access thereto by the projecting lug(s). Displacement of the closure member may entail a mere change of position, while remaining attached, or it may entail the complete removal of the member. Contiguous exterior surfaces of the bat body and of the closure member will desirably lie substantially flush with one another, and exterior circumferential marginal elements thereof will desirably mate with one another with substantially no gap therebetween, thereby cooperatively providing a uniform hitting surface.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0009] FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view showing a bat assembly and associated balls embodying the sporting goods set of the invention, the closure member being removed from the body of the bat assembly;

[0010] FIG. 2 is exploded sectional view of the bat assembly of FIG. 1, taken along a longitudinal centerline of the assembly and showing two balls contained within the storage chamber of the body; and

[0011] FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of the bat assembly of the foregoing Figures, drawn to an enlarged scale and showing the closure member replaced with the cylindrical portions of the assembled parts telescopically interengaged.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED AND ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT

[0012] Turning now in detail to the appended drawing, therein illustrated is a bat assembly, in the nature of a baseball or softball bat, embodying the present invention. It consists of a body, generally designated by the numeral 10, and a closure cap generally designated by the numeral 12, each of which is of relatively rigid, one-piece molded plastic construction (i.e., sufficiently rigid to permit his use for effective driving of a ball).

[0013] The body 10 of the assembly is hollow throughout, and is of generally circular cross section along its entire length. It consists of a relatively small diameter handle section at one end, a relatively large, uniform diameter cylindrical section 16 at the distal end, and a conical transition section 18 therebetween; a cavity portion 20 is defined within the cylindrical section 16.

[0014] The closure cap 12 consists of a somewhat domed wall portion 24 closing one end of a generally cylindrical sidewall portion, the later consisting of contiguous sections 26A and 26B and cooperating with the end wall portion 24 to define an internal cavity 28. Section 26B has an outside diameter that is slightly larger than is that of section 26A.

[0015] Pairs of small, axially aligned lugs 30 project inwardly from diametrically disposed locations on the distal cylindrical section 16 of the body 10, adjacent the entrance to the cavity portion 20. Corresponding, generally F-shaped channels 32 are molded into the cylindrical sidewall section 26A of the closure cap 12.

[0016] As will be self-evident, the cap 12 is assembled with the body 10 by inserting the conical sidewall section 26A into the cavity portion 20, through the distal end entrance, with each pair of lugs 30 initially moving along the axially extending section of the corresponding F-shaped channel 32. When the cap sidewall is inserted to its full depth, one lug 30 of each pair will register with a corresponding circumferential section of the F-shaped channel 32, enabling the cap 12 to be secured in place, by relative rotation. Although not illustrated, increased tightness and security can be afforded by inclining the circumferential groove sections somewhat (relative to a transaxial plane), and/or by forming slight jogs at the ends thereof for seating the engaged lugs. Also, the closure need not be fully removable, and might for example take the form of a displaceable lid, connected to the body (as by a living hinge) and held in closed position by a snap-fit fastener.

[0017] As will be appreciated, and as can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, three balls 34 can be contained in the cavity portion 20 of the bat body 10, for storage and transport. Because of its uniform internal diameter, the cavity portion 20 is well suited for the receipt and dispensing of the balls, which are readily accessed by removal of the cap 12.

[0018] FIG. 3 shows the substantially flush contiguous exterior surfaces of the cylindrical portion 16 of the bat assembly body 10 and the sidewall portion 26B of the closure cap 12, as well the absence of any significant gap between the mating exterior circumferential marginal elements. Such construction avoids protrusions, recesses, and irregularities that might cause unintended deflection of a struck ball.

[0019] The concepts of the present invention are, as noted above, applicable to equipment used for sports games other than baseball and softball, including for example golf, tennis, hockey, etc. The dimensions, configuration, and location of the containment cavity formed within the bat (club, racket, stick, etc.) of any such sporting goods set, as well as the construction of the closure member, will be such as to provide a suitable space for storage of the associated driven objects (balls, pucks, etc.) while, at the same time, maintaining the desired visual and conceptual integrity of the assembly.

[0020] Although in most instances the parts of the bat assembly will optimally be formed by molding of a suitable synthetic plastic material, metal and wood may be employed as appropriate and if so desired. The lug-and-groove arrangement described constitutes only one form of securing mechanism for best maintaining the parts against inadvertent disassembly, and of course other suitable arrangements may be substituted (or frictional interengagement alone may be relied upon), as will be apparent to those skilled in the art. As will also be appreciated, many additional modifications may be made to the apparatus of the invention without departure from the novel concepts disclosed.

[0021] Thus, it can be seen that the present invention provides a novel, self-contained sporting goods set comprised of components that are readily maintained in assembly with one another, without need for any extraneous means. In a specific embodiment the invention provides a sporting goods set comprised of a baseball- or softball-style bat, and a plurality of corresponding balls.