Title:
Baseball throwing and catching device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs having a pair of rectangular support frame members pivoted together along a common side. A wooden board having a coated surface is mounted on one of the support members. A baseball tossed against the coated surface of the wooden board is rebounded and caught by a user. A tubular adjustment mechanism permits the wooden board to be angularly adjusted so that the rebound trajectory may be changed as desired.



Inventors:
Moore, Jerry D. (Vidor, TX, US)
Application Number:
09/949724
Publication Date:
03/13/2003
Filing Date:
09/12/2001
Assignee:
MOORE JERRY D.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00; (IPC1-7): A63F9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. An apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs comprising: a first frame member; a second frame member, said second frame member pivotally connected to said first frame member; a board member, said board member having a front face and a rear face; said board member mounted to said first frame member at said rear face; and an elastomeric coating disposed on said front face of said board member.

2. The apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs as recited in claim 1, wherein said first frame member is a rectangular frame member having a first end and a second end.

3. The apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs as recited in claim 2, wherein said second frame member is a rectangular frame member having a first end and a second end.

4. The apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs as recited in claim 3, wherein the second end of said first frame member and the second end of said second frame member form a coincident end.

5. The apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs as recited in claim 4, wherein said first frame member and said second frame member are pivotally connected at said coincident end.

6. The apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs as recited in claim 5, wherein said first end of said first frame member and said first end of said second frame member have respective midpoints, and said apparatus further comprises an adjustment member pivotally connected to said first frame member and said second frame member at said respective midpoints.

7. The apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs as recited in claim 6, wherein said adjustment member comprises a pair of telescoping parts.

8. The apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs as recited in claim 7, wherein a series of spaced apertures are disposed in at least one of said pair of telescoping

9. The apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs as recited in claim 8, wherein said first frame member, said second frame member and said adjustment member are fabricated from round tubing.

10. The apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs as recited in claim 8, wherein said first frame member, said second frame member and said adjustment member are fabricated from square tubing.

11. An apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs comprising: a first frame member, said first frame member having a first end and a second end; a second frame member, said second frame member having a first end and a second end; said first frame member pivotally connected to said second frame member; said first end of said first frame member and said first end of said second frame member have respective midpoints; an adjustment member pivotally connected to said first frame member and said second frame member at said respective midpoints; and a board member, said board member having an elastomeric coated front face and a rear face; said board member mounted to said first frame member at said rear face.

12. The apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs as recited in claim 11, wherein the second end of said first frame member and the second end of said second frame member form a coincident end.

13. The apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs as recited in claim 12, wherein said first frame member and said second frame member are pivotally connected at said coincident end.

14. The apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs as recited in claim 13, wherein said adjustment member comprises a pair of telescoping parts.

15. The apparatus for practicing throwing and catching baseballs as recited in claim 14, wherein a series of spaced apertures are disposed in at least one of said pair of telescoping parts.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention generally relates to recreational equipment. More specifically, the present invention is drawn to apparatus for practicing throwing and catching a baseball.

[0003] 2. Description of Related Art

[0004] In golf, bowling, and basketball a player can practice alone to hone his/her skills. However, most team-oriented sports require the participation of at least two persons for a practice session. For example, to practice throwing and catching a baseball would necessarily involve two or more people. An apparatus which would allow a player to practice these skills at any convenient time, without the need to seek out a teammate or other player, would certainly be of benefit.

[0005] There are many devices in the art which allow for single-participant practice. U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,692,307 (Henry) and 4,093,218 (Burchers) both show devices for practicing tennis without need for another participant. The above devices employ a board of considerable height (six feet) and a width at least as wide as a standard tennis net.

[0006] U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,026,551 (Larson), 4,364,562 (White et al.) and 5,524,901 (Bison et al.) each show a device used as a target for pitched baseballs. There is no contemplation of rebounding and catching the balls.

[0007] U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,711,092 (Hogue), 4,932,657 (Hailer et al.), 5,833,234 (Valvala et al.); British Patent number 397,260 and Canadian Patent number 605,665 disclose rebound devices fabricated from netting and springs. The netting in these devices deteriorates quickly and the springs are prone to lose their resiliency, thereby mandating expensive replacements.

[0008] British Patent number 1,223,579 shows a device for arresting the flight of a ball. There is no attempt to cause the ball to rebound.

[0009] None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to disclose a ball throwing and catching practice apparatus as will subsequently be described and claimed in the instant invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The present invention is drawn to an apparatus that allows a participant to practice throwing and catching a ball without the involvement of another person. The invention comprises only two major elements. One element is an adjustable frame structure fabricated from metal tubing. The second element is a planar surface mounted to and supported on the adjustable frame structure. The adjustable frame permits a user to position the planar surface at several desired angles relative to the ground. The desired angles are in a range of from approximately ninety degrees to approximately one-hundred thirty five degrees. A ball thrown against the planar surface will rebound in a manner to be caught by the thrower. The angle of rebound is determined by the adjusted angle of the planar surface. Thus, a user can adjust the surface so that the rebounded ball is a high fly, low fly, short hop grounder or ground ball.

[0011] Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide an apparatus which allows a user to enhance his/her ball throwing and catching skills.

[0012] It is another object of the invention to provide an apparatus for rebounding balls thrown there against.

[0013] It is a further object of the invention to provide an apparatus for rebounding balls wherein the angle of rebound may be adjusted.

[0014] Still another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus for rebounding balls, which apparatus rebounds the balls accurately.

[0015] It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof in an apparatus for the purposes described which are inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing their intended purposes.

[0016] These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a ball throwing and catching practice device according to the present invention.

[0018] FIG. 2 is a side view of a ball throwing and catching practice device according to the present invention.

[0019] FIG. 3 is a rear view of a ball throwing and catching practice device according to the present invention.

[0020] Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0021] Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, the present invention comprises a supporting frame generally indicated at 10. Frame 10 includes two rectangular sections 12 and 14 which are pivoted together at a shared side 16. Frame 10 further includes a tubular support member 18 which is mounted for pivotal movement at end 18a to side 12a of rectangular section 12 at a point midway thereof, as best seen in FIG. 3. The other end 18b of member 18 is provided with a transverse opening for receiving an adjustment pin 18c for reasons which will be later explained. A tubular adjustment member 20 is sized to be telescopically received at one end into end 18b of support member 18. The other end 20a of adjustment member 20 is mounted for pivotal movement to side 14a of rectangular member 14 at a point midway thereof. Adjustment member 20 is provided with an array of openings 20c spaced along its length. In a preferred embodiment, frame member 10 is fabricated from metallic tubing (three-quarter inch) and may be pivotally connected in any convenient and efficient manner. The tubing may be square or round as desired.

[0022] A solid rectangular board 30 has a rear planar surface 30b securely mounted to rectangular section 14. Board 30 is fabricated from plywood (approximately 32 by 48 inches) and presents an unobstructed front planar surface 30a provided with an elastomeric coating thereon. The elastomeric coating provides a protective surface for the board and contributes to enhancing the rebounding effect. Board 30 may be mounted to section 14 by any suitable and convenient means i.e. screws.

[0023] In use the invention is positioned on a generally level surface (ground) as shown in FIG. 1. The angle that the front surface 30a makes with the ground can be adjusted by removing pin 18c and sliding adjustment member 20 in support member 18 causing pivotal movement of rectangular member 14 and board 30. When the desired angle is reached pin 18c is reinserted thereby securing board 30 in the desired angular position. The baseball B can then be tossed against the coated face of the board and the rebound caught. By merely repeating the above steps, a user can change the rebound angle to create a different ball trajectory.

[0024] It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the sole embodiment described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.