Title:
Sports Bat Sleeve
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sports bat sleeve to cover a bat comprising: a cylindrical body, where the cylindrical body stretches along the bat from the barrel to the handle; a barrel portion at an end of the cylindrical body, where the barrel portion covers the barrel of the bat; a neck portion at an opposing end of the cylindrical body, where the neck portion tapers to cover a portion of the handle of the bat; and a closure fastened along the neck portion, where the closure enables the neck portion to open and close around the handle of the bat. The cylindrical body includes a base at the end of the barrel portion to prevent the barrel from sliding out of the cylindrical body after placement.



Inventors:
Rutherford, Patrick (Brier, WA, US)
Rutherford, Alice (Brier, WA, US)
Application Number:
13/226588
Publication Date:
03/07/2013
Filing Date:
09/07/2011
Assignee:
RUTHERFORD PATRICK
RUTHERFORD ALICE
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B71/00; B65D65/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAI, TRI M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICE OF JERRY D. HAYNES , P.A (Naples, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A sports bat sleeve to cover a bat comprising: a cylindrical body, where the cylindrical body stretches along the bat from the barrel to the handle; a barrel portion at an end of the cylindrical body, where the barrel portion covers the barrel of the bat; a neck portion at an opposing end of the cylindrical body, where the neck portion tapers to cover a portion of the handle of the bat; and a closure fastened along the neck portion, where the closure enables the neck portion to open and close around the handle of the bat.

2. The sports bat sleeve to cover a bat according to claim 1, wherein the cylindrical body includes a base at the end of the barrel portion to prevent the barrel from sliding out of the cylindrical body after placement.

3. The sports bat sleeve to cover a bat according to claim 1, wherein the cylindrical body is made from a single piece of material wrapped to form the cylindrical body and sewn at a seam.

4. The sports bat sleeve to cover a bat according to claim 1, wherein the cylindrical body is made from two pieces of material wrapped to form the cylindrical body and sewn at a pair of seams.

5. The sports bat sleeve to cover a bat according to claim 1, wherein the cylindrical body includes at least one pocket to receive at least one weight for the bat.

6. The sports bat sleeve to cover a bat according to claim 1, wherein the closure is one of at least a zipper, hook and loop fastener, snaps, clips and ties.

7. The sports bat sleeve to cover a bat according to claim 1, wherein the cylindrical body is made from a material comprising one of at least fleece, canvas, foam, and neoprene.

8. The sports bat sleeve to cover a bat according to claim 1, wherein the cylindrical body is made from one of at least leather, suede and vinyl.

9. The sports bat sleeve to cover a bat according to claim 1, wherein the cylindrical body extends along the entire length of the bat, from the end of the barrel to the end of the handle.

10. The sports bat sleeve to cover a bat according to claim 1, wherein the cylindrical body extends from the end of the barrel to a gripping portion of the handle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a fitted sleeve to cover a barrel of a bat thereby protecting the barrel from scrapes, extreme temperatures or breakage.

2. Description of Related Art

A baseball bat is a fundamental piece of sporting equipment utilized by a range of players, young and old alike. Whether children are using the bats for t-ball or professional athletes are using the bats during a championship game, the bats are a common necessity used by every player. Traditional bats are made from wood or metal and include a few standard specifications that vary depending on whether the bat is used for children, professionals, women or softball. Many times during and after use, the players may find that their bat has become dented, scraped, splintered or even completely broken. The damage may be due to several external factors including baseballs, contact with sharp objects and sun exposure. All of these factors may greatly reduce the lifespan of the bat causing costly and time-consuming replacement.

To address the problem of bat damage several developments have been made in bat protection. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,701,998 by Eric J. Perry discloses a baseball bat cover wherein an encasing surrounds the handle of a baseball bat. The cover protects the handle of the bat to prevent splintering during use. A problem is that it does not cover the rest of the bat. U.S. Pat. No. 6,093,114 by Kenneth R. Haring a discloses a batting practice attachment for baseball bats wherein a tube is placed over the barrel of the bat. The tube prevents the bat from splintering, chipping or scuffing during practice without significantly changing the weight, feel or shape. But the tube may be difficult to attach, especially when fitting over the barrel of the bat. Finally, U.S. Pat. No. 7,111,730 by Michael Phillip Alas discloses a bat carrier and protector wherein a bat bag made from a tube and strap are utilized to transport and protect a baseball bat. This does protect the bat, but not in a fitted and secure manner.

Therefore, it would be beneficial in the art to provide a bat protector that snuggly fits around the barrel and handle. It would also be desirable in the art to provide a bat protector with a means to easily receive the bat, yet secure the bat within the protector after placement.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the prior art, the general purpose of the present invention is to provide a sports bat sleeve, configured to include all of the advantages of the prior art, and to overcome the drawbacks inherent therein.

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a bat protector wherein the protector is a fitted sleeve that snuggly fits around the barrel and handle of the bat.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a bat protector wherein a fitted sleeve includes a closure to secure the bat within the sleeve.

To achieve the above objects, in an aspect of the present invention, a sports bat sleeve to cover a bat is described comprising: a cylindrical body, where the cylindrical body stretches along the bat from the barrel to the handle; a barrel portion at an end of the cylindrical body, where the barrel portion covers the barrel of the bat; a neck portion at an opposing end of the cylindrical body, where the neck portion tapers to cover a portion of the handle of the bat; and a closure fastened along the neck portion, where the closure enables the neck portion to open and close around the handle of the bat. The cylindrical body includes a base at the end of the barrel portion to prevent the barrel from sliding out of the cylindrical body after placement.

These together with other aspects of the present invention, along with the various features of novelty that characterize the present invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and form a part of this present invention. For a better understanding of the present 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 exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The advantages and features of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following detailed description and claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like elements are identified with like symbols, and in which:

FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of a pattern for a sports bat sleeve in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 depicts a perspective view of a sports bat sleeve in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 depicts a bottom view of a sports bat sleeve in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 depicts a perspective view of a sports bat sleeve and a bat in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 5 depicts a perspective view of a pattern for a sports bat sleeve in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

Like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the description of several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention relates to a fitted sleeve to cover a barrel of a bat thereby protecting the barrel from scrapes, varying temperatures or breakage. The present invention provides a sports bat sleeve to cover and protect a variety of bats. The sports bat sleeve may be made from a flexible yet durable material that slides over the end of the bat and then closes around the handle. The portion of the handle exposed enables the user to grip and carry the bat without hindrance. The user may even practice batting and swinging with the sports bat sleeve attached without significantly affecting the feel of the bat. The user is therefore able to protect the bat while practicing thereby preventing damage or breakage during use.

Turning now descriptively to the drawings, referring to FIG. 1, a perspective view of a pattern for a sports bat sleeve (10) is shown in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. The sports bat sleeve (10) consists of an elongated piece of material (12) that stretches between a neck portion (14) and a barrel portion (16). The pattern for the sports bat sleeve (10) may embody a general bottle shape, wherein the barrel portion (16) is wider than the neck portion (14) and follows an angular slope or taper to connect the two portions. Along the lateral portions of the elongated piece of material (12) are a pair of edges (18a, 18b). As is illustrated in FIG. 2, the edges (18a, 18b) meet to and are sewn together to create a seam (18) that encloses the pattern for the sports bat sleeve (10) to form a cylindrical body.

The material used to from the sports bat sleeve (10) may be a durable fabric like fleece, canvas, foam, neoprene or similar fabrics that may be commonly used in the art. The material may be washable, providing quick and easy cleanup of the sports bat sleeve (10) after extended use. Alternatively, the sports bat sleeve (10) may be made from leather, suede or vinyl for a sophisticated appearance aesthetically appealing to professional or adult athletes. The material used may include different colors, patterns, symbols, team logos, animals, designs, and the like to appeal to the likes and preferences of the individual user. With any of the materials, the sports bat sleeve (10) may be padded or lined for additional protection to the bat and any external objects it may come into contact with.

The dimensions of the material may be 4½ inches wide at the top of the neck (14), 8½ inches wide at the bottom of the barrel portion (16), and the entire length of the elongated piece of material (12) may be 27½ inches. With these specifications the sports bat sleeve (10) easily accommodates a standard adult size softball bat. Modifications may be made to the dimensions, larger and smaller, to accommodate padding, fitting around children's bats, metal baseball bats, wood baseball bats and the like.

Referring now FIG. 2, a perspective view of the sports bat sleeve (10) is shown in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 2 illustrates the sports bat sleeve (10) in its constructed form wherein the edges are sewn to form the seam (18) and the body is a cylindrical body (12) able to accommodate fitting around a barrel of a bat. Where the barrel of the bat ends, the seam (18) may become a closure (20). The closure (20) enables the neck (14) of cylindrical body (12) to open and close, thereby better fitting around the handle of the bat when the barrel is inserted into the cylindrical body (12). The closure (20) may be a zipper, a hook and loop fastener, snaps, hooks, ties or other fasteners commonly known and used in the art to close and secure a piece of material.

When closed, the end of the neck (14) creates an opening (22) to enable the handle of the bat to extend out of the cylindrical body (12). The cylindrical body (12) may extend from the end of the barrel to the end of the handle. Alternatively, the cylindrical body (12) may extend from the end of the barrel to a point along the handle. Preferably, as illustrated in FIG. 4 the neck (14) terminates at the gripping portion of the handle. This way the barrel is completely protected while the user has the handle uncovered for better gripping and maneuverability.

Referring to FIG. 3, a bottom view of the sports bat sleeve is shown in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. A base (24) may encompass the entire end of the barrel portion of the cylindrical body, and in turn cover the entire end of the bat barrel. The base (24) includes a base seam (26) where the pattern is sewn together at the end of the barrel portion. The base (24) and base seam (26) prevent the barrel of the bat from sliding out of the cylindrical body after the bat is inserted.

Referring to FIG. 4, a perspective view of the sports bat sleeve (10) secured around the bat (50) is shown in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. As illustrated the sports bat sleeve (10) envelopes the entire barrel, the tapered portion and terminates at the handle. The sports bat sleeve (10) snuggly fits around the bat (50) to prevent the sleeve (10) from sliding or removal during storage, transport or play.

Referring now to FIG. 5, a perspective view of a pattern for a sports bat sleeve (100) is shown in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention. The sports bat sleeve (100) includes two elongated strips of material (102a, 102b) which when sewn along a seam (108) to wrap around the bat forming a cylindrical body around the barrel, just as in the first embodiment. Similar to the first embodiment, the elongated strips (102a, 102b) stretch between a neck portion (104a, 104b) which covers the handle of the bat, and a barrel portion (106a, 106b) which covers the barrel of the bat. Also, a closure (110) may open and close the neck portion (104a, 104b) to receive the bat. A second closure (110) may run along a second seam, where the second seam is attached to a backside of the sports bat sleeve (100) connecting the lateral edges of the elongated strips (102a, 102b).

Attached to the barrel portion (106a, 106b) may be a pocket or pair of pockets (112a, 112b). The pocket (112a, 112b) may be shaped generally elongated and rectangular to receive one or more weights (114a, 114b). The weights (114a, 114b) are used in training for the user to add additional weight to their bat. The user simply slides the weight (114a, 114b) into the pocket (112a, 112b) from an end. The end may include a fastening means to prevent the weight (114a, 114b) from sliding out of the pocket (112a, 112b) where the fastening means is a snap, hook and loop fastener, or the like.

With the sports bat sleeve the user is able to protect their bat from the damage inflicted from harsh external elements like sun, humidity, sharp objects, blunt force and the like. Since the sports bat sleeve may be used during practice, the user's bat is also protected from splintering, denting and scrapes incurred during regular play. By uniquely combining the fitted cylindrical body with the closure, the sports bat sleeve easily and securely fits around the barrel of their bat making it a protective device appreciated by players of all ages.

The foregoing descriptions of specific embodiments of the present invention have been presented for purposes of illustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. The exemplary embodiment was chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application, to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention and various embodiments with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated.