Title:
Baseball batting practice device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A baseball batting practice device includes a home plate having a top face in which a plurality of channels extending in different direction are embedded. Each channel has top flanges spaced from each other to define a slot therebetween. The top flanges are substantially flush with the top face of the base plate. A slide is selectively and movably received the channels. A threaded rod extends from the slide and through the slot of the channel. An upright stand has a lower end defining an inner-threaded hole engageable with the threaded rod to attach the stand to the slide whereby the stand is movable along and switchable between the channels. The stand has an upper end forming a cavity for receiving and supporting a baseball to be batted whereby a user may selectively position the baseball at any desired location along the channels for practicing ball batting.



Inventors:
Tsai, Peter (Hsinchu City, TW)
Application Number:
10/748640
Publication Date:
06/30/2005
Filing Date:
12/29/2003
Assignee:
TSAI PETER
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/00; (IPC1-7): A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lin & Associates (Saratoga, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A baseball batting practice device comprising: a base plate having a top face; a first channel formed in the top face and extending in a first direction, the first channel having opposite top flanges spaced from each other to define a slot therebetween; a second channel formed in the top face and extending in a second direction, the second channel having opposite top flanges spaced from each other to define a slot therebetween, the second direction being different from the first direction; a slide movably received in one of the channels and switchable between the channels, the slide forming a threaded rod extending through the slot of the channel and beyond the flanges; and an upright stand having a lower end defining an inner-threaded bore engageable with the threaded rod to attach the stand to the top face of the base plate, the upright stand having an upper end forming a cavity for receiving and supporting a baseball.

2. The baseball batting practice device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first and second directions are substantially perpendicular to each other.

3. The baseball batting practice device as claimed in claim 1, wherein three first channels are formed in the top face of the base plate, including a central one and two side ones located on opposite sides of the central one.

4. The baseball batting practice device as claimed in claim 3, wherein the first and second directions are substantially perpendicular to each other.

5. The baseball batting practice device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the flanges of the channels are substantially flush with the top face of the base plate.

6. The baseball batting practice device as claimed in claim 1, wherein each channel forms an opening in an edge of the base plate for receipt of the slide therein.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a device for practicing batting of baseball, and in particular to a baseball batting practice device that allows for adjustment of the location of a stand that supports a baseball to be batted in orthogonal directions to suit the need of different batters.

2. The Related Art

Baseball batting practice devices are known. The baseball batting practice device comprises an upright holder that is rotatably mounted to a home plate for supporting and positioning a baseball. The upright holder is selectively retained at different discrete angular positions by means of a rotation mechanism. Such a rotatable construction of the baseball holder allows a player to selectively set a baseball supported by the holder at different positions. However, the structure of the baseball batting practice device is complicated, for the holder is set at an angular position by having a spring-biased pin removably fit into angularly discrete retention holes defined in the home plate. Such a complicated structure, apparently, leads to increase of manufacturing cost and probably shortening the service life of the device.

Thus, it is desired to have a baseball batting practice device that overcomes the problems encountered in the prior art by employing a simple but effective construction.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, a primary objective of the present invention is to provide a baseball batting practice device that allows a user to selectively position a baseball to be batted at different locations on a base without employing a complicated structure.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide a baseball batting practice device that is low cost.

To achieve the above objectives, in accordance with the present invention, there is provided a baseball batting practice device comprising a home plate having a top face in which a plurality of channels extending in different direction are embedded. Each channel has top flanges spaced from each other to define a slot therebetween. The top flanges are substantially flush with the top face of the base plate. A slide is selectively and movably received the channels. A threaded rod extends from the slide and through the slot of the channel. An upright stand has a lower end defining an inner-threaded hole engageable with the threaded rod to attach the stand to the slide whereby the stand is movable along and switchable between the channels. The stand has an upper end forming a cavity for receiving and supporting a baseball to be batted whereby a user may selectively position the baseball at any desired location along the channels for practicing ball batting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art by reading the following description of preferred embodiments thereof, with reference to the attached drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a baseball batting practice device constructed in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of a home plate of the baseball batting practice device of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the baseball batting practice device of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the baseball batting practice device constructed in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference to the drawings and in particular to FIGS. 1 and 2, a baseball batting practice device constructed in accordance with the present invention, generally designated with reference numeral 10, comprises a home plate 12 positionable on for example the ground of a practice field. The home plate 12 has a top face 14 on which an upright stand 16 is removably and position-adjustably mounted. The stand 16 has a lower end removably attached to the top face 14 of the home plate 12 and an opposite upper end forming a conical cavity 20 for receiving and supporting a baseball (not shown) therein.

A plurality of channels is defined in the top face 14 of the home plate 12. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, the channels are divided in two groups, the first channels 22 and the second channels 24, extending in perpendicular directions. However, the channels 22, 24 can be extended in directions that are different but not perpendicular. The channels 22, 24 may have different lengths but each starts from an edge (not labeled) of the home plate 12 whereby an entrance opening is defined in the edge. Each channel 22, 24 has opposite top flanges 26 spaced from each other to define a slot 28 therebetween.

In the embodiment illustrated, the home plate 12 is made of rubber or plastics by molding, while the channels 22, 24 are made of metal. The channels 22, 24 are embedded in the top face 14 of the home plate 12 whereby the flanges 26 of the channels 22, 24 are substantially flush with the top face 14 of the home plate 12.

A slide 30 is sized and shaped to be selectively and movably received in one of the channels 22, 24 through the associated entrance opening. The slide 30 can be switched between different channels 22, 24. A threaded rod 32 extends from the slide 30 and through the slot 28 to get beyond the flanges 26.

The lower end of the stand 16 defines an inner-threaded hole 34, see FIG. 3, engageable with the threaded rod 32 of the slide 30 with the opposite flanges 26 of the channel 22, 24 in which the slide 30 is movably received interposed between the lower end of the stand 16 and the slide 30. The friction between the flanges 26 of the channel 22, 24 and the slide 30 and the lower end of the stand 16 helps to securely fix the stand 16 to the top face 14 of the home plate 12, while allowing selectively moving the slide 30 and the stand 16 to any desired position along the channel 22, 24, or re-positioning the slide 30 into other channels 22, 24, by loosening the threading engagement between the stand 16 and the slide 30.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, three first channels 22 are defined in the top face 14 of the home plate 12. A central channel extends from an apex of the pentagonal home plate 12, while two side channels extend from the edge opposite to the apex and located on opposite sides of the central channel. A single second channel 24 is formed in the top face 14 of the home plate 12 and extending in a direction substantially perpendicular to the first channels 22. The second channel 24 extends between opposite edges of the home plate 12 and divides each side channel into two sections of which one has both ends closed. To allow attachment of the stand 16 to the section having both ends closed, an additional slide can be positioned in the section of the channel in advance. It is apparent that the number, position, and direction of the channels 22, 24 are simply a matter of design choice. Modification and variation on the channels 22, 24 can be done easily. For example and as shown in FIG. 4, in which a home plate, also designated with reference numeral 12, constructed in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention is shown, only a single first channel 22′ and a single second channel 24′ are formed in the home plate 12 of the second embodiment, illustrating a simplified arrangement of the channels for position-adjustably securing the stand 16.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments thereof, it is apparent to those skilled in the art that a variety of modifications and changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention which is intended to be defined by the appended claims.