Title:
Perfect strike
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A new and improved training device for baseball/softball pitchers. It is a practice with a three-dimensional rigid metal frame (1) separated in thirds by vertical adjustable metal dividers (2,3). The frame and adjustable dividers are able to securely support colored mesh netting (4) with open mouth and is mounted on a cylinder (5) that is slidably received within the outer cylinder (6) and locked into place by a tension clip (7). Four hinged support legs (8, 9, 10, 11) with ground spikes (12, 13, 14, 15) are connected to the bottom of the outer cylinder (6) and are used for ground support and stability.



Inventors:
Fusco, Paul Joseph (Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, US)
Application Number:
09/808338
Publication Date:
09/19/2002
Filing Date:
03/15/2001
Assignee:
FUSCO PAUL JOSEPH
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00; A63B63/00; (IPC1-7): A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Paul Fusco (Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed as being new and desired to be protected is as follows.



1. A portable, lightweight, training aid for baseball and softball pitchers comprised of: A) A three dimensional metal non-adjustable rigid frame outline of the strike zone with horizontal metal protruding towards the back of the strike zone and four slotted areas, two on the top and bottom portion of the rigid frame. B) Two metal vertical adjustable strike zone dividers that slide left to right within the rigid metal framed outline of the strike zone. C) Color-coded sections of open mouth mesh netting. Designed to be attached to the framed outline of the strike zone and vertical dividers and overhangs in the back for catching and holding balls. D) Electrical ties to secure the mesh netting to the rigid frame and vertical dividers. E) A hollow metal cylinder that is able to adjust the height of the strike zone by sliding in and out of another slightly larger hollow cylinder. F) A locking tension clip that when flipped in the upward position would release the tension on the top hollow cylinder and allow it to be height adjusted. G) Four legs that protrude out two feet with ground spikes on the end of each leg, that when stepped upon will secure the unit to the ground. Legs are pivotally connected and hinged in the middle so they fold up when you want to transport the devise.

2. Two metal vertical dividers of claims 1B & 1C that slide left and right and lock into place with threaded screw and wing nut. A) Threaded screw is pushed through the hole in the strike zone dividers and pass through rigid frame the end of the screw protrudes out the back of the frame and wing nut is placed over the threaded end of the screw and turned until dividers are secured.

3. Two hollow metal cylinders of claim 1E; one slightly larger than the other so top cylinder, which is attached to the rigid metal, framed strike zone can slide up and down for height adjustment.

4. Locking clip of claim 1F. A clip that when flipped in the up position releases tension band that is around the top hollow cylinder of claim 1E and inside bottom hollow cylinder of claim 1E. A) A pivotal clip that moves only in an up and down motion and is used for the sole purpose of locking the top cylinder in place.

5. Folding legs with ground spikes of claim 1G that are pivotally connected to bottom of bottom cylinder of claim 1E and are hinged in the middle so that they fold up for storage and transportation. Legs are locked into place with threaded screw and wing nut assembly. A) Each leg has a ground spike on the end that make contact with the surface of the playing area. B) Each leg has a hinge approximately half way that allows the leg to fold onto itself when in the transport or storage position.

6. The rigid framed strike zone of claim 1A comprising of: A) A rigid metal frame encompassing the entire strike zone. Consisting of two fixed horizontal (top and bottom of frame) and two fixed vertical (left and right sides) metal pieces. B) Four horizontal protruding pieces of rigid metal frame (17), one at each corner of rigid frame, protruding to the rear of the frame. C) A horizontal piece of flat metal frame (16) located to the rear of the outer frame (1) that extends and is connected to one horizontal protruding piece of metal frame (17) to another horizontal protruding piece of metal frame (17) and is connected to the hollow cylinder of claim 1E. D) Four horizontal slotted areas (31). Two located on the top and two located on the bottom portion of the rigid metal frame (1).

7. Two colored open mouthed mesh netting. The left and right-hand side of the strike zone is orange colored netting and the middle of the strike zone is black netting. A) Open mouth of mesh netting is connected to all parts of rigid frame with electrical ties. B) Netting is color coded as to draw the attention to the outside portion of the strike zone. C) Mesh netting overhangs in the back as to act as a ball catch.

Description:

REFERENCES CITED

U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS

[0001] U.S. Pat. No. 6,093,120 July 2000 Luke Jr . . . 473/454

[0002] U.S. Pat. No. 5,803,841 September 1998 Daskoski . . . 473/454

[0003] U.S. Pat. No. 5,484,145 January 1996 Shriver . . . 473/454

[0004] U.S. Pat. No. 5,029,853 July 1991 Cunningham . . . 273/55

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 4,863,166 September 1989 Becera et al . . . 473/454

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 4,718,668 January 1988 Schipske . . . 273/29

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 4,768,784 September 1988 Wilson . . . 473/454

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 4,295,648 October 1981 Stromback . . . 273/29

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 3,312,467 April 1967 Dawson . . . 273/26

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 2,978,246 April 1961 Groningen . . . 273/26

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 2,873,969 February 1959 Ziel . . . 273/181

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 2,126,102 August 1938 Fowler . . . 273/26

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 2,059,365 November 1936 King . . . 273/26

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 1,592,005 July 1926 Rovane . . . 273/26

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0015] A. Field of Invention

[0016] The invention relates to a portable, adjustable, lightweight training aid. It pertains to the dissection of the modern day strike zone with features that will aid in the teaching of the importance of “throwing to the corners” of home plate and help teach the “art” of pitching.

[0017] B. Description of the Related Art

[0018] The use of baseball targets is known in related art. Baseball targets that have been devised and utilized for purpose of providing a target are known to consist basically of familiar, expected and obvious structural configurations. A myriad of designs have been developed over the years for countless objectives and requirements.

EXAMPLES

[0019] U.S. Pat. No. 5,484,145 to Shriver discloses a portable pitching aid.

[0020] U.S. Pat. No. 2,873,969 to Zeil discloses a baseball control developer and tester.

[0021] U.S. Pat. No. 3,312,467 to Dawson discloses a Baseball Pitchers Practice device.

[0022] U.S. Pat. No. 2,059,365 to King discloses a Pitchers control practice devise.

[0023] While these devices fulfill their particular objectives they either do not teach the importance of “pitching to the inside and outside corners” of home plate or are not “portable”, “adjustable” or “lightweight” training devises. Example: U.S. Pat. No. 5,484,145 to Shriver is portable and adjustable, but does not emphasize the importance of “control”, pitching to the “corners of the strike zone”. It simply emphasizes throwing the ball anywhere through an outlined strike zone. U.S. Pat. No. 2,059,365 to King emphasizes the “art” of pitching and “control” but is not “portable”, “adjustable” or “lightweight”.

[0024] In this respect, this invention brings pitching training aids to a new and higher level. It breaks the actual strike zone into thirds and emphasizes the importance of “control” pitching along with being “portable”, “adjustable” and “lightweight”.

[0025] Therefore, there exists a need for an invention that can combine all of the best features from previous inventions and take pitchers training aids to a higher level of efficiency. In this regard, this invention fulfills this need.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0026] The general purpose of this invention is to give baseball and softball pitchers a portable, adjustable, lightweight training aid that will give them a better understanding of the strike zone and enhance their “control” level. It will aid in teaching the importance of pitching to the “corners” of home plate and aid in the instruction of the “art” of pitching. Unlike most pitching aids that teach a pitcher to throw a pitch anywhere into the strike zone. This invention will help teach a pitcher to “control” their pitches and throw pitches consistently to specific areas of the strike zone for greater pitching success. This invention will help increase a pitchers skill level and make them more successful at all levels of play.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0027] FIG. 1 is a full view perspective of the portable strike zone training device in operative mode.

[0028] FIG. 2 is a full view perspective of the portable strike zone training device without the ball catch mesh netting, showing the structure of the rigid frame in more detail.

[0029] FIG. 3 is a side view of support leg and ground spike with hinged joint and wing nut locking attachment.

[0030] FIG. 4 is a view of the bottom hollow cylinder with support legs folded for transportation.

[0031] FIG. 5 is a view of top and bottom hollow cylinders and locking clip in the locked position so top cylinder can not slide.

[0032] FIG. 6 is a view of the bottom cylinder with locking clip in the open position so that top cylinder would be able to be adjusted to proper height.

[0033] FIG. 7 is a side cross sectional view of the vertical strike zone dividers mounted on the bottom portion of the rigid frame with threaded screw and wing nut locking device.

[0034] FIG. 8 is a half view of the top of the rigid frame with horizontal slotted area for strike zone divider adjustment.

[0035] FIG. 9 is a view of the ball catch mesh netting on frame, divided into three sections within the strike zone rigid frame, held in place with electrical ties.

DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

[0036] In reference to Drawing titled FIG. 1, Front View of device 44. The device illustrated relates to a new and improved lightweight and portable training aid for baseball and softball pitchers. The rigid frame (1) has four sides and horizontal four slotted areas (31), is made of lightweight metal ¼ inch wide by ½ inch deep and is designed to define the modern day strike zone. Welded at each of the four corners of the rigid frame (1) there is a horizontal piece of ¼ inch wide by ½ inch deep by 10 inch long frame (20, 21, 22, 23) that protrudes towards the back of the strike zone. The size of the inside of the opening is twenty-four inches wide by thirty-one inches high by ten inches deep. Electrical ties (29) are utilized to secure the colored open-mouthed mesh netting (4) to the rigid frame (1). The strike zone itself is divided into three Sections by two adjustable vertical dividers (2 &3). Section (1) the left hand corner of the strike zone—orange mesh netting, Section (2) the middle of the strike zone—black mesh netting and Section (3) the right hand corner of the strike zone—orange mesh netting. The dividers (2 &3) are adjusted for baseball or softball and slide along the rigid frame (1) and within the horizontal slotted areas located on the top and bottom of the rigid frame (1). Dividers lock into place with threaded screws (21) and wing nuts (20). Slotted area openings are no further than eight inches and no less than six and a half inches from horizontal sides of frame (1). The mesh netting is designed to catch any pitched ball that is thrown into the invention and is held in place with electrical ties (29).

[0037] The rigid frame (1) is mounted on a hollow cylinder (5) that is slidably received within the outer hollow cylinder (6) and locked into place by a tension clip (7) that is flipped up to release tension and flipped down to apply tension. The maximum adjustment height from the ground to the bottom portion of rigid frame (1) is twenty-six inches; the minimum