Title:
Baseball glove organizer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The baseball glove organizer provides a systematic location for players to store fielding gloves and/or other personal equipment while batting. The organizer comprises a relatively large backing sheet having a series of pockets attached to the front surface thereof, with the pockets each having a size and volume sufficient to contain at least a baseball or softball glove therein. The pockets also include schematic or graphical representations of the playing field, with the fielding position corresponding to each pocket being marked on the field representation. The name of the position may also be indicated, along with the scoring shorthand for the position as an aid to younger players. The organizer is secured to any suitable surface, e.g., backstop, fence, etc. for the game, with players removing their personal equipment when the game is over. The organizer is then rolled or folded for storage until needed for the next game.



Inventors:
Benck, James A. (Wichita, KS, US)
Application Number:
11/037116
Publication Date:
07/20/2006
Filing Date:
01/19/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G29/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PUROL, SARAH L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A baseball glove organizer, comprising: a backing sheet; a plurality of pockets disposed upon said backing sheet; and a representation of a fielding position disposed upon at least a majority of said pockets, each said representation of a fielding position being distinct from one another and collectively representing all of the fielding positions of the game.

2. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 1, wherein said pockets are identically configured to one another for holding at least a fielding glove therein.

3. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 1, wherein each of said pockets has an open upper edge devoid of closure means.

4. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 3, wherein the upper edge of each of said pockets is elasticized.

5. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 1, wherein said pockets are disposed in a matrix of two rows of five pockets each, comprising nine baseball player positions and a coach position.

6. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 1, wherein said pockets are disposed in a matrix of two rows of five pockets each, comprising ten softball player positions.

7. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 1, wherein each said representation of a fielding position comprises a schematic representation of a baseball and softball playing field, with a separate player position indicated upon each of said pockets.

8. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 1, further including indicia spelling the title of the fielding position with each said representation of a fielding position.

9. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 1, further including a scoring abbreviation for the fielding position with each said representation of a fielding position.

10. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 1, further including means for attaching the backing sheet to a support structure.

11. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 1, wherein said backing sheet and said pockets are formed of materials selected from the group consisting of heavy-duty closed weave fabrics and vinyl-coated fabrics.

12. A baseball glove organizer, comprising: a flexible backing sheet; a plurality of identically configured fielding glove pockets disposed upon said backing sheet, each of said pockets having an open upper edge, said backing sheet and said pockets being formed of materials selected from the group consisting of heavy-duty closed weave fabrics and vinyl-coated fabrics.

13. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 12, wherein the upper edge of each of said pockets is elasticized.

14. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 12, further including means for attaching the backing sheet to a structural support.

15. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 12, wherein said pockets are disposed in a matrix of two rows of five pockets each, comprising nine baseball player positions and a coach position.

16. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 12, wherein said pockets are disposed in a matrix of two rows of five pockets each, comprising ten softball player positions.

17. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 12, further including a representation of a fielding position disposed upon at least a majority of each of said pockets, each said representation of a fielding position being distinct from one another and collectively representing all of the fielding positions of the game.

18. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 17, wherein each said representation of a fielding position comprises a schematic representation of a baseball and softball playing field, a separate player position being indicated upon each of said pockets.

19. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 17, further including indicia spelling the title of the fielding position with each said representation of a fielding position.

20. The baseball glove organizer according to claim 17, further including a scoring abbreviation for the fielding position with each said representation of a fielding position.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to sports and athletic equipment. More specifically, the present invention comprises various embodiments of a portable storage device having a series of open pockets therein, and providing for the removable storage of the baseball or softball gloves and/or other equipment for a baseball or softball team.

2. Description of the Related Art

More and more people, both adults and younger persons, are becoming involved with various team sports. As interest has developed in these various sports, various articles of specialized equipment have been developed for players in order to facilitate their play of the game, and/or to provide some advantage or edge for the player during the game. Examples of such specialized equipment are specialized cleated shoes and special gloves in the sport of baseball, which equipment is also used in softball and is even finding its way down to the initial training level of play in T-ball.

Players must of course keep track of their equipment during the course of play, as they periodically move from defensive play in the field to the dugout or sideline awaiting their turn at bat. While many articles of equipment (e.g., shoes) are worn continually throughout the game, fielding gloves must be removed when coming in from the field and donned again when players return to the field. With perhaps up to twenty players (in a softball game) simultaneously removing and donning gloves between each half inning of play, it can be difficult for players to keep track of their equipment. Even at the lower levels of play, gloves are not an inexpensive item, and the loss of a glove can be financially painful to a player, particularly a younger player who may be financing his/her participation and equipment in the game through an allowance or low paying part-time job after school.

Thus, a baseball glove organizer solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The baseball glove organizer comprises a relatively large sheet of heavy-duty flexible material (e.g., canvas, vinyl-coated fabric, etc.) having a series of pockets attached to the front surface thereof. Each of the pockets has sufficient size and volume to contain at least a baseball or softball fielding mitt or glove therein, with one pocket being provided for each member of the team and including a coach position for a nine-player baseball team. Each pocket (possibly excepting the coaching position, where provided) also includes a description (graphic or schematic, as well as text) of the specific fielding position for the player using that specific pocket, and may also include scoring shorthand for the position. The device is temporarily secured to a backstop, fence, or other suitable structure for the duration of a game. When the game is over, the gloves and/or other personal equipment are removed by the players, and the empty organizer is rolled or folded for storage until needed for the next game or practice.

These and other features of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental elevation view of a baseball glove organizer according to the present invention, showing its use.

FIG. 2 is a detailed elevation view of the organizer of FIG. 1, showing further details thereof.

FIG. 3 is a detailed elevation view of a second embodiment of the present organizer having ten player position pockets, being adapted for softball.

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

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention comprises various embodiments of a baseball glove organizer for the temporary placement of fielding gloves or mitts, and/or other athletic equipment, therein during the course of a game. The present organizer greatly assists players, particularly younger and/or less experienced players, in keeping track of their equipment (particularly gloves), and also serves as a training or teaching aid for the various playing positions and their scoring abbreviations or shorthand.

FIG. 1 of the drawings provides an exemplary environmental illustration of the present ball glove organizer 10 in use, with FIG. 2 providing a more detailed view of the device 10. The organizer 10 includes a relatively large backing sheet 12, e.g., about two and one-half feet high by four feet wide (other dimensions may be used as desired). The backing sheet includes a series of ten essentially identical fielding glove pockets 14a through 14j thereon, in a matrix of two horizontal rows each having a series of five pockets therein. Other configurations may be provided as desired.

Each pocket 14a through 14j is configured to hold at least a single fielding glove therein, e.g., the catcher's mitt C of the pocket 14b, pitcher's or fielder's glove F of the pockets 14a and 14d through 14i, and/or a first baseman's glove B of the pocket 14c. The tenth pocket 14j allows the coach of a nine-member baseball team to place a glove or other equipment therein, as desired. The backing sheet 12 and pockets 14a through 14j are preferably formed of a durable material, e.g., a heavy duty canvas material or the like having a closed weave, heavy-duty vinyl-coated fabrics, either natural or synthetic, etc. as desired. Such materials hold up well to the wear and tear likely to be encountered by such equipment, including the effects of sunlight and other outdoor weather phenomena. Such materials may be provided in virtually any color desired, e.g., black background with white lettering for good legibility, or may alternatively be provided in team colors or other colors as desired.

The backing sheet 12 includes a series of structural attachments 16 extending therefrom for securing the device 10 to a fence, backstop, or other suitable structure. The attachments 16 may comprise a series of eyelets or grommets disposed about the periphery of the backing sheet 12 with a corresponding number of elasticized bungee cords extending therefrom, with each of the cords having a hook at the distal end thereof to hook into the conventional chain link fence or backstop structure. Other attachment means may be used as desired, e.g., rope or cord, wire or cable, mating hook and loop fabric (e.g., Velcro®) straps, etc. Alternatively, the backing sheet 12 could comprise a rigid panel (e.g., plywood, etc.), but flexible fabric material is preferred for folding the organizer for storage.

FIG. 2 provides a more detailed view of the glove organizer 10 of FIG. 1, including the configurations of the glove storage pockets 14a through 14j. Each of the pockets includes an open upper edge 18, devoid of any form of closure means. This allows players (and the coach, where applicable) to quickly and easily access and store their gloves as required, during the limited time between inning halves as sides are changed between the field and batting. The pockets 14a through 14j may have a substantial depth extending for the majority of the height of each row along the backing sheet 12 in order to more completely secure the gloves therein, or may be somewhat shallower to facilitate the placement therein and removal of gloves therefrom, as shown in the embodiment of FIG. 3 and discussed further below.

Each pocket 14a through 14i includes a representation, or graphical image, of the corresponding fielding position for the player using that pocket for the storage of his or her glove. The representations 20a through 20i are distinguished from one another by the specific player position shown thereon, with all of the fielding positions required for the play of the game being provided for on the pocket series. The fielding position representations 20a through 20i each include a schematic representation of at least the infield portion of the playing field, i.e., representations 20a through 20f for infield players, with outfield positions being shown on the schematic representations 20g through 20i. The general location of the player assigned to that position is indicated by a dot or mark on the schematic representation.

In addition, each pocket 14a through 14j may include the name or title, respectively 22a through 22j, of the fielding position (or coach, for the pocket 14j), for further clarification. Finally, each pocket 14a through 14i may also include the scoring shorthand or abbreviation, respectively 24a through 24i, for that position, e.g., “1-P” scoring designation 24a for the pitcher's glove pocket 14a, “8-CF” designation 24h for the center fielder's pocket 14h, etc. These scoring symbols 24a through 24i are conventionally used when recording the play of a game to note which players were involved in a given play. Generally, only the numbers are used, with the numerical order for the positions being conventional. The inclusion of alphabetic abbreviations with the numerical positions facilitates recognition of the numerical positions and their order on the score sheets.

FIG. 3 provides a detailed illustration of an alternative embodiment configured for use in playing softball. The softball glove organizer 110 is configured essentially identically to the baseball glove organizer 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2, excepting the field position representations on the pocket series, as the positions differ slightly between softball and baseball. It will be seen that the softball organizer 110 may also be used at the beginning level for very young players in T-ball and coach pitch, if so desired. The organizer 110 includes a backing sheet 112 and a series of pockets 114a through 114j thereon. The backing 112 and pockets 114 may be formed of the same materials as described further above for the baseball organizer 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2. A series of structure attachments or fasteners 116, similar to the corresponding components 16 of the organizer 10, may be provided along the edges of the backing sheet 112.

The softball glove organizer 110 of FIG. 3 also includes a series of ten pockets 114a through 114j, arranged in two horizontal rows of five pockets each. It will be noted that the pockets 114a through 114j of the embodiment 110 of FIG. 3 are somewhat lower or shallower than the corresponding pockets 14a through 14j of the embodiment 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2. The depths of the pockets in either embodiment may be adjusted as desired. It will also be noted that the upper edges 118 of the pockets 114a through 114j are elasticized, in order to provide more positive retention of gloves and/or other articles placed therein. It will be seen that the upper edges 18 of the pockets 14a through 14j of the baseball glove organizer 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2 may be elasticized as well, if so desired, or alternatively, the elastic could be omitted from the upper edges 118 of the pockets 114a through 114j of the softball organizer 110.

The series of pockets 114a through 114j for the softball organizer embodiment 110 also each include a schematic representation or graphical image, respectively 120a through 120j, of the playing field and corresponding position for the player using each given pocket, as in the baseball organizer embodiment 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2. However, the outfield positions differ from those used in a nine-player baseball team. In softball, the center field position is eliminated, and two center field positions are provided, i.e., left center field 120h and right center field 120i. The addition of an extra outfield position results in a total of ten players, with the coaching position being eliminated. It will be seen that a ten player softball team may be formed using other positions in lieu of those shown in FIG. 3, e.g., a second right shortstop position with three outfielders, or other team configuration(s) as desired.

As in the baseball glove organizer embodiment 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2, the softball glove organizer 110 may also include the title or name of the position, respectively 122a through 122j, for each of the corresponding schematic representations 120a through 120j. The scoring notation abbreviations, respectively 124a through 124j, e.g., “8-LC” position 124h (for the left center field position) and “9-RC” position 124i (for the right center field position) may also be provided with the schematic representations 120a through 120j on the corresponding glove pockets 114a through 114j.

In conclusion, the present baseball glove organizer in its various embodiments provides a much-needed means for players to temporarily store their gloves (and perhaps other small accessories) conveniently during a game. Traditionally, gloves and other accessories have been tossed aside by the players whose team is at bat, perhaps in a dugout or along the fence where they may be misplaced or stolen. The present glove organizer eliminates this problem, and moreover provides a diagram of each playing position for the corresponding glove pocket of the device. This feature greatly assists younger and less experienced players in learning the game, thus reducing the academic teaching required and providing more playing time to develop the physical skills required. The use of durable fabric materials for the present organizer allows the device to be rolled or folded to a relatively compact bundle for storage between games. Accordingly, the present baseball or softball glove organizer in its various embodiments will prove to be a most desirable and helpful accessory at the amateur level of the sport.

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