Title:
A Practice Bat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides for a practice bat having a handle and a barrel, both of which can be made from wood or other material, and a shaft being made from plastic, carbon, fiberglass or other material. The diameter of the shaft is less than the diameter of the either the handle or barrel.



Inventors:
Wilson, Phil B. (Harrison, AR, US)
Application Number:
11/380808
Publication Date:
11/01/2007
Filing Date:
04/28/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/564
International Classes:
A63B69/00; A63B59/00
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PHIL B. WILSON (HARRISON, AR, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A practice bat comprising: a handle having a tip end and a butt end, said handle having regulation sized measurements; a barrel having regulation sized measurements so as to engage regulation balls; and a flexible shaft having a smaller diameter than said handle and said barrel, said shaft having a first end embedded along the longitudinal axis of said handle and a second end embedded along the longitudinal axis of said barrel, wherein the combined weight of said handle, said barrel and said shaft being approximately the same weight as an actual bat.

2. The practice bat of claim 1 wherein said handle is made from wood.

3. The practice bat of claim 1 wherein said handle is between 9 inches and 11 inches in length.

4. The practice bat of claim 1 wherein said barrel is made from wood.

5. The practice bat of claim 1 wherein said barrel is between 7 inches and 8 inches in length.

6. The practice bat of claim 1 wherein said shaft has a diameter of between ¼ inch and ¾ inch.

7. The practice bat of claim 1 wherein said first end of said shaft is embedded the entire length of said handle.

8. The practice bat of claim 1 wherein said second end of said shaft is embedded the entire length of said barrel.

9. The practice bat of claim 1 wherein said shaft is made from material from the group consisting of plastic, carbon and fiberglass.

10. The practice bat of claim 1 further comprising a ferrule mounted on said shaft adjacent said handle.

11. The practice bat of claim 1 wherein said barrel further comprises one or more weighted inserts located within said barrel.

12. A practice bat comprising: a wooden handle having a tip end and a butt end; a wooden barrel; and a flexible fiberglass shaft having a smaller diameter than said handle and said barrel, said shaft having a first end embedded along the longitudinal axis of said handle and a second end embedded along the longitudinal axis of said barrel, wherein the combined weight of said handle, said barrel and said shaft being approximately the same weight as an actual bat.

13. The practice bat of claim 12 wherein said handle is between 9 inches and 11 inches in length.

14. The practice bat of claim 12 wherein said barrel is between 7 inches and 8 inches in length.

15. The practice bat of claim 12 wherein said shaft has a diameter of between ¼ inch and ¾ inch.

16. The practice bat of claim 12 further comprising a ferrule mounted on said shaft adjacent said handle.

17. The practice bat of claim 12 wherein said barrel further comprises one or more weighted inserts located within said barrel.

18. A practice bat comprising: a wooden handle having a tip end and a butt end, said handle being between 9 inches and 11 inches in length; a wooden barrel, said barrel being between 7 inches and 8 inches in length; one or more weighted inserts located within said barrel; a flexible fiberglass shaft having a diameter of between ¼ inch and ¾ inch, said shaft having a first end embedded along the longitudinal axis of said handle and a second end embedded along the longitudinal axis of said barrel; and a ferrule mounted on said shaft adjacent said handle, wherein the combined weight of said handle, said barrel and said shaft being approximately the same weight as an actual bat.

Description:

REFERENCE TO PENDING APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/433,086 filed on 12 Dec. 2002 entitled PRACTICE BAT and U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/733,118 filed on Dec. 11, 2003 entitled PRACTICE BAT.

REFERENCE TO MICROFICHE APPENDIX

This application is not referenced in any microfiche appendix.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a baseball or softball practice bat.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Practice bats for baseball and softball have been previously provided. See, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,246,894 and 5,014,984. In the U.S. Pat. No. 3,246,894 a training bat is disclosed which uses a handle portion connected to a barrel portion by a reduced diameter central section. The bat of the '894 patent is intended to teach a batter to hit the ball with the barrel portion or sweet spot of the bat. It, however, has disadvantages. It requires absolute rigidity that renders such device easily breakable. A further disadvantage is shown by the requirement that its reduced diameter central section to be constructed of a more dense material than its barrel or handle sections. By having this requirement, the weight balance of this device is offset which in turn has an adverse effect on the user's ability to use this device. The batting apparatus of the U.S. Pat. No. 5,014,984 is also intended to teach a batter to hit the sweet spot of the bat. It is believed that neither of the devices of the '894 and '984 patents has met with success since neither is of regulation weight and may not have regulation diameters and the critical areas of the bat.

Another example is U.S. Pat. No. 6,949,036 issued to Ciesar. This device includes a shaft; two handgrip portions wherein on is a permanently fixed “handle” at one end of the shaft and the second being a “slide” being configured to slide along the shaft; and a head portion secured to the other end of the shaft. This training device has disadvantages in that it is not to be used with actual balls or is of regulation weight and may not have regulation diameters and the critical areas of the bat.

Accordingly, there is a need for a new practice bat that more accurately resembles an actual bat.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A baseball or softball training bat is disclosed which is of regulation weight. The training bat includes a regulation diameter wood bat can handle having a shaft extending there from to a regulation diameter wood barrel portion. The shaft is preferably comprised of fiberglass material and has a diameter less than the diameter of the bat handle. The ends of the shaft are embedded in the bat handle and barrel. A ferrule is mounted on the shaft adjacent the handle portion to strengthen the bat. In the preferred embodiment, the bat is of regulation weight and approximately 1″-3″ shorter then regulation. In practice, if the batter hits a baseball with the shaft, rather than the sweet spot, it will be very noticeable and will encourage the batter to focus on hitting the baseball with the barrel or sweet spot.

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following drawings, description and claims. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated preferred embodiments of the invention. The foregoing has outlined some of the more pertinent objects of the invention. These objects should be construed to be merely illustrative of some of the more prominent feature and applications of the present invention. Many other beneficial results can be attained by applying the disclosed invention in a different manner or by modifying the invention within the scope of the disclosure. Accordingly, other objects and a fuller understanding of the invention and the detailed description of the preferred embodiments in addition to the scope of the invention illustrated by the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the training bat of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a planned view of the embodiment of training bat of this invention as set forth in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side cross-sectional view of an additional embodiment of the training bat of this invention;

FIG. 4 is a top cross-sectional view along line AA of the embodiment of the training bat of this invention as shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a side cross-sectional view of an additional embodiment of the training bat of this invention; and

FIG. 6 is a top cross-sectional view along line BB of the embodiment of the training bat of this invention as shown in FIG. 3.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following detailed description shows the best currently contemplated modes of carrying out the invention. The description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention and the best mode for practicing the invention, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or carried out in a variety of ways. It is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and not of limitation.

The numeral 10 refers to an embodiment of the training bat of this invention which is designed for use in training baseball and softball players to hit the sweet spot (barrel) of the bat. Although the bat is ideally suited for the use in baseball practice, the bat could be modified somewhat so as to have the regulation weight of a softball bat with regulation diameters in the handle and barrel portions thereof.

Bat 10 includes a regulation bat handle 12 preferably comprised of wood, although other materials may be used. Handle 12 has a regulation diameter and is preferably 9″-11″ in length. Handle 12 has a tip or butt 14 at one and thereof. A shaft 16 has a first end and a second end. The first end is embedded in handle 12 and extends there from. Shaft 16 is preferably ¼″ to ¾″ diameter rod made from plastic, carbon, fiberglass or other materials. As seen in drawings, shaft 16 has a reduced diameter with respect to handle 12. The second end of shaft 16 is embedded in barrel 18. Barrel 18 is of regulation design, is preferably 7″-8″ long and has a regulation diameter. Preferably, barrel 18 is comprised of wood but could be constructed of other materials is so desired. Ferrule 22 is mounted on shaft 16 adjacent handle 12. A ferrule 22 is mounted on the shaft 16 adjacent handle 12 to strengthen the bat in the area where the shaft 16 enters the handle 12. The shaft 16 may be embedded with substantially the entire lengths of the handle 12 and barrel 18 or a portion of the lengths thereof.

The training bat or practice bat of this invention is designed for use with regulation balls and the handle and barrel portions or of regulation weight and diameter for all softball in baseball leagues, from professional to amateur as well as variations of regulation measurements used for youth practice and juvenile and toddler bats. In the juvenile and toddler models, the bats will be comprised of plastic.

As illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, an additional embodiment 50 of the inventive practice bat is disclosed. This embodiment 50 includes a barrel 52 and shaft 56 configuration as previously set forth, that shaft 56 has a first end embedded in a handle (not shown) and a second end 54 embedded in barrel 52. In this embodiment 50, second end 54 does not penetrate the entire length of barrel 52 but rather only penetrates a fraction of the length of barrel 52. Moreover, the composition of the barrel 52, shaft 56 and handle are as set forth above. This embodiment 50 also includes the additional of a weighted insert 58 into the barrel 52. This weighted insert 58 allows embodiment 50 to imitate the same weight and balance of a regulation bat. When the term regulation bat is used, it is meant a bat that is used in regulation play. Additionally, the use of a single weighted insert 58 is for illustrative purposes. Those skilled in the art would recognize that more than one weighted insert 58 could be utilized.

As can be seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, weighted insert 58 is permanently secured inside barrel 52. End cap 60 is used to prevent weighted insert 58 from any inadvertent slippage of the weighted insert 58 from inside barrel 52. Such slippage could cause damage to embodiment 50 or could cause injury to the user or onlookers. Weighted insert 58 can be made from various metals such as lead, steel or iron. The dimensions of weighted insert 58 can vary to meet the needs of the user.

As illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6, an additional embodiment 70 of the inventive practice bat is disclosed. This embodiment 70 includes a barrel 72 and shaft 74 configuration as previously set forth, that shaft 74 has a first end embedded in a handle (not shown) and a second end 76 embedded in barrel 72. In this embodiment 70, second end 76 penetrates nearly the entire length of barrel 72. End cap 78 is used to assist in securing second end 76 to barrel 72. Moreover, the composition of the barrel 72, shaft 74 and handle are as set forth above. This embodiment 70 also includes the additional of a plurality of weighted inserts 80 into the barrel 72. Weighted inserts 80 allows embodiment 70 to imitate the same weight and balance of a regulation bat. When the term regulation bat is used, it is meant a bat that is used in regulation play.

As can be seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, weighted insert 80 is permanently secured inside barrel 72. End caps 82 are used to prevent weighted insert 80 from any inadvertent slippage of the weighted inserts 80 from inside barrel 72. Weighted inserts 80 can be made from various metals such as lead, steel or iron. The dimensions of weighted insert 80 can vary to meet the needs of the user.

While embodiments of the present invention have been illustrated and described, such disclosures should not be regarded as any limitation of the scope of our invention. The true scope of our invention is defined in the appended claims.

As has been demonstrated, the present invention provides an advantageous apparatus and method for maintaining alignment and balance of a massive rotating cylindrical drum within close tolerances. While the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described, additional variations and modifications in those embodiments may occur to those skilled in the art once they learn of the basic inventive concepts. Therefore, it is intended that the appended claims shall be construed to include both the preferred embodiment and all such variations and modifications as fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.