Title:
DEVICE FOR TEACHING A BASEBALL PITCHER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for teaching a baseball or softball pitcher includes a storage unit for holding a pre-marked tape measure, a pitching rubber, and a home plate along with fastening devices for securing the pitching rubber and home plate in their desired position.



Inventors:
Brennan, Michael A. (Lakemoor, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/693853
Publication Date:
10/02/2008
Filing Date:
03/30/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/415
International Classes:
A63B69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAMBERS, MICHAEL S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mathew R.P. Perrone, Jr. (Algonquin, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed and sought to be protected by Letters Patent is:

1. A teaching device for a baseball pitcher or a softball pitcher comprising: a) a storage unit into which a plurality of components of the teaching device may be placed; b) the plurality of components permitting the pitching area of a baseball or softball field to be substantially duplicated and to provide a proper area for the baseball pitcher or the softball pitcher to practice; c) the plurality of components including a home plate, a pre-marked measuring tape, and a pitching rubber; and d) the pre-marked measuring tape having at least two markings to set a required distance between the pitching rubber and the home plate.

2. The teaching device of claim 1 further comprising: a) the storage unit receiving the home plate, the pre-marked measuring tape, and the pitching rubber for storage until a use is desired; and b) the storage unit having a plurality of ground stakes to secure the home plate and the pitching rubber in an appropriate position.

3. The teaching device of claim 2 further comprising: a) the storage unit further including a storage area, a latch, a handle, a seat for a catcher, and a hinge; b) the hinge connecting the seat for a catcher to the storage area; c) the storage unit being capable of receiving and storing the home plate, the pre-marked measuring tape, the pitching rubber, and the plurality of stakes; d) the hinge being oppositely disposed from the latch; and e) the hinge and the latch being combinable to lock the seat for a catcher to the storage unit.

4. The teaching device of claim 3 further comprising: a) the pre-marked measuring tape having markings suitable for any level of baseball or softball in order to determine the distance between home plate and the pitching rubber; and b) the pre-marked measuring tape having markings suitable for setting out the distance between the home plate, a first base, a second base, and a third base.

5. The teaching device of claim 4 further comprising: a) the plurality of stakes being suitable for releasably securing the pitching rubber or the home plate in a desired relationship; and b) the handle being secured to the seat for the catcher in order to facilitate transportation of the teaching device.

6. A portable teaching device for a baseball pitcher or a softball pitcher comprising: a) a storage unit into which a plurality of components of the teaching device may be placed; b) the plurality of components permitting the pitching area of a baseball field or softball field to be substantially duplicated and to provide a proper area for the baseball pitcher or the softball pitcher to practice; c) the plurality of components including a home plate, a pre-marked measuring tape, and a pitching rubber; d) the pre-marked measuring tape having at least two markings to set a required distance between the pitching rubber and the home plate; e) the storage unit receiving the home plate, the pre-marked measuring tape, and the pitching rubber for storage until a use is desired; and f) the storage unit having a plurality of ground stakes to secure the home plate and the pitching rubber in an appropriate position.

7. The teaching device of claim 6 further comprising: a) the storage unit further including a storage area, a latch, a handle, a seat for a catcher, and a hinge; b) the hinge connecting the seat for a catcher to the storage area; c) the storage unit being capable of receiving and storing the home plate, the pre-marked measuring tape, the pitching rubber, and the plurality of stakes; d) the hinge being oppositely disposed from the latch; and e) the hinge and the latch being combinable to lock the seat for a catcher to the storage unit.

8. The teaching device of claim 7 further comprising: a) the pre-marked measuring tape having markings suitable for any level of baseball or softball in order to determine the distance between home plate and the pitching rubber; and b) the pre-marked measuring tape having markings suitable for setting out the distance between the home plate, a first base, a second base, and a third base.

9. The teaching device of claim 8 further comprising: a) the plurality of stakes being suitable for releasably securing the pitching rubber or the home plate in a desired relationship; and b) the handle being secured to the seat for the catcher in order to facilitate transportation of the teaching device.

10. A method of using a teaching device for teaching a baseball pitcher or a softball pitcher comprising: a) removing a home plate, a pitching rubber, and a pre-marked measuring tape, from a storage unit; b) positioning the home plate in an appropriate position; c) positioning the storage unit next to the home plate; d) unrolling the pre-marked measuring tape; e) positioning the pre-marked measuring tape on the ground toward a desired position for the pitching rubber; f) placing the pitching rubber along the appropriate marking on the pre-marked measuring tape; g) the pre-marked measuring tape having a bronco mark for a bronco league, a pony mark for a pony league, a colt mark for a colt league, and any other appropriate markings for a different league or level; h) the appropriate marking on the pre-marked measuring tape being selected by determining the pitcher's league or baseball level; and i) a catcher using the storage unit as seating while the pitcher practices.

11. The method of claim 10 further comprising: a) removing a plurality of stakes from the storage unit; b) using the plurality of stakes to secure the home plate in the desired position; and c) the pitching rubber being secured in the appropriate position through the plurality of stakes.

Description:

This invention relates to a device for teaching a baseball or softball pitcher and more particularly to a device for teaching a baseball or softball pitcher which facilitates setting of pitching distances and a proper pitching area.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the teaching of baseball or softball skills, many assisting devices for training are known. Baseball and softball are used interchangeably throughout this application and have the same meaning. With either baseball or softball, one position, which is very critical, is the pitcher. Great skill is required for a pitcher. To develop that great skill, much practice is required. Not only much practice, but proper practice is required.

Essential elements of pitching are a pitching rubber where the pitcher stands, a home plate which assists in determining the proper target for a pitch, and a proper distance between the pitching rubber and home plate. Since the pitching rubber must be a proper distance from the home plate, in order for a pitcher to practice the mechanics or movements required of a good pitcher, a great problem is created. The problem derives from the varying distances between the pitching rubber and home plate, for the various levels of baseball or softball.

It thus becomes clear it is very desirable to have a good method of setting up the distance between home plate and the pitching rubber. Such a set up becomes more complicated because there are different levels of baseball or softball, with each level varying the required distances between the pitching rubber and home plate. It thus becomes desirable to provide for efficient setting of that distance between home plate and the pitching rubber.

While there exist many ways of doing this, there is no one efficient way of accomplishing this goal. To simplify this procedure, a device which permits the installation of the pitching rubber and home plate in that desired fashion to the desired distance is necessary.

Another problem with pitching practice is that a catcher helps. Usually, the catching position is uncomfortable. A catcher is required to squat down behind the plate, while the pitcher throws a ball to the catcher from the pitching rubber. Such a position can be extremely uncomfortable. If the device also provides for improved comfort for the practice catcher, great demand for the product as well as other advantages can be obtained.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Among the many objectives of the present invention is the provision of a device for teaching a baseball or softball pitcher, which can be used to quickly and efficiently to set up a proper pitching area.

Another objective of the present invention is the provision of a device for teaching a baseball or softball pitcher, which can store a tape measure, a pitching rubber, and a home plate, with appropriate fastening devices.

Also, an objective of the present invention is the provision of a device for teaching a baseball or softball pitcher, which can easily measure an appropriate distance between the pitching rubber and home plate.

Moreover, an objective of the present invention is the provision of a device for teaching a baseball or softball pitcher, which simplifies the function of the catcher.

These and other objectives of the invention (which other objectives become clear by consideration of the specification, claims and drawings as a whole) are met by providing a device for teaching a baseball or softball pitcher, which includes a case for holding a pre-marked measuring tape, a pitching rubber, and a home plate along with fastening devices for securing the pitching rubber and home plate in its desired position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts a block diagram of a teaching device 100 for a baseball or softball pitcher 160 of this invention.

FIG. 2 depicts an exploded perspective view of the teaching device 100 of this invention.

FIG. 3 depicts a top, plan view of the teaching device 100 of this invention.

FIG. 4 depicts a perspective view of a teaching device 100 for a baseball or softball pitcher 160 of this invention in use.

FIG. 5 depicts a perspective view of a teaching device 100 for a baseball or softball pitcher 160 of this invention in use.

FIG. 6 depicts a perspective view of a teaching device 100 for a baseball or softball pitcher 160 of this invention in use.

FIG. 7 depicts a perspective view of a teaching device 100 for a baseball or softball pitcher 160 of this invention in use.

Throughout the figures of the drawings, where the same part appears in more than one figure of the drawings, the same number is applied thereto.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The device for teaching a baseball or softball pitcher of this invention includes a case which cooperates with the other elements of the device in order to store and transport those elements. If desired, the case can be subdivided and receive each of the elements in its own compartment. Furthermore, other compartments can be available for other desired material.

Referring now to FIG. 1, teaching device 100 of this invention includes a storage unit 110, into which, components of the invention may be placed. Such components permit the pitching area of a baseball or softball field to be substantially duplicated and provide a proper area for practice. To that end, the storage unit 110 includes a home plate 120, a pre-marked measuring tape 150, and a pitching rubber 130. If desired, ground stakes 140 may be present to secure the home plate 120 and the pitching rubber 130 in an appropriate position, which may be in front of the pitcher's mound 164. Pre-marked measuring tape 150 may have baseball markings or softball markings for various home plate to pitching rubber distances as required by the different leagues or playing levels, or various distances between the bases.

Storage unit 110 may be open or closeable, and may also have any suitable shape. Typical of the suitable shapes for storage unit 110 are open rectangular or open cylindrical. Either open shape has a closed end, with the elements of the teaching device 100 insertable or removable through an open end. It is preferred however that the open end be closable and latchable.

Adding FIG. 2 to the consideration, storage unit 110 has a storage area 111 with a latch 113 thereon along with a handle 115 secured thereto. Hinge 114 connects the catcher's seat 112 to the storage area 111. As the home plate 120, the pre-marked measuring tape 150, and the pitching rubber 130, are placed into storage area 111, hinge 114 and latch 113 combine to lock storage unit 110. Pre-marked measuring tape 150 can have markings suitable for any level of baseball or softball to determine the distance between the home plate 120 and the pitching rubber 130.

Turning now to FIG. 3, the teaching device 100 is set out. The storage unit 110 is positioned next to home plate 120. Pre-marked measuring tape 150 is stretched from home plate 120 to pitching rubber 130. Pre-marked measuring tape 150 has a mustang mark 170 for the Mustang league. Pre-marked measuring tape 150 has a bronco mark 172 for the Bronco league. Pre-marked measuring tape 150 has a pony mark 174 for the Pony league. Pre-marked measuring tape 150 a colt mark 176 for the Colt league.

Other desired marks can also be placed on the pre-marked measuring tape 150. Typical examples include the distance between the home plate 120 and the pitching rubber 130 for softball. Pre-marked measuring tape 150 can also set out the distance between home plate, first base, second base, and third base.

With FIG. 4, the pitcher 160 is at mustang mark 170 and is throwing the ball 163 to the catcher 162 who is sitting behind home plate 120. Catcher 162 is seated on catcher's seat 112 of storage unit 110 set up as above described. FIG. 5 is similar to FIG. 4, with bronco mark 172 replacing the mustang mark 170. FIG. 6 is similar to FIG. 4, with pony mark 174 replacing the mustang mark 170. FIG. 7 is similar to FIG. 4, with the colt mark 176 positioned on pitcher's mound 164 replacing the mustang mark 170, bronco mark 172, and pony mark 174.

This application—taken as a whole with the abstract, specification, claims, and drawings—provides sufficient information for a person having ordinary skill in the art to practice the invention disclosed and claimed herein. Any measures necessary to practice this invention are well within the skill of a person having ordinary skill in this art after that person has made a careful study of this disclosure.

Because of this disclosure and solely because of this disclosure, modification of this tool can become clear to a person having ordinary skill in this particular art. Such modifications are clearly covered by this disclosure.