Title:
PITCHER'S MINI-JACKET
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is a quick-donning mini-jacket with matching left and right segments, either one of which may independently be used to cover and/or protect a baseball pitcher's throwing arm. Upon insertion of the pitcher's arm into either segment, the wearer may experience a snug, comfortable fit of the garment about the perimeter of the wearer's shoulder and arm, by virtue of an inner elastic band. Should the inner elastic band be insufficient for a close and comfortable fit, an adjustment strap is provided, typically of a hook-and-felt fastening mechanism. By adjusting tightness of the strap, the tensile force about the shoulder joint may be increased a comfortable amount. In this manner, a pitcher's arm can be kept warm, relaxed, and relatively free from muscle tightening or tension that might result from a just-completed pitching session.



Inventors:
Banks, Joseph (Decatur, GA, US)
Application Number:
13/486263
Publication Date:
12/05/2013
Filing Date:
06/01/2012
Assignee:
BANKS JOSEPH
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/08; A41D13/05
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
J.T. Hollin, Attorney at Law, P.C. (Fayetteville, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A protective mini-jacket for sheltering the throwing arm of a baseball pitcher, said mini-jacket comprising matching left- and right-armed segments, each adapted for encompassing the arm and shoulder of a wearer, and each segment further having a wrist opening and a shoulder opening; wherein each of said segments comprises a flexible, multi-layered material and each said segment further comprising (a) an expandable, form-fitting portion about the perimeter of said wrist cuff, for securing the cuff around the wrist of the wearer; (b) a tensioned, expandable portion of material within, the circumference of the shoulder joint proximate said shoulder opening for the purpose of holding the segment around the shoulder of the wearer; and (c) an elongate strap having one end mounted and coupled to a peripheral edge of said segment, about the periphery of said shoulder opening, and a second end, being a free end portion, having a means for attaching said free end portion to the mounted portion of said strap, for the purpose of increasing the holding tension of said strap about the shoulder of the wearer.

2. A protective mini-jacket as in claim 1, wherein said means for attaching the free end portion of said strap to the mounted end of said strap comprises a hook-and-loop fastener with-the free end portion further comprising the felt component and the mounted end of said strap comprising the hook component.

3. A protective mini-jacket as in claim 1, wherein said means for attaching the free end portion of said strap to the mounted end of said strap comprises a frame-and-prong belt buckle mechanism, in which the free end of said strap comprises symmetrically-spaced holes and the mounted end of said strap comprises a frame-and-prong belt buckle.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

(1) Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to the field of athletics, particularly to the sport of baseball. A great variety of equipment, performance enhancing devices, and protective clothing is used in this sport. Especially notable is the catcher's mask, leg and arm padding, throat protector, etc. When actively engaged in a game, it is normally necessary for the pitcher to take safeguards for his throwing arm. Between innings, pitchers must keep their throwing arm warm in order to prevent stiff muscles and/or soreness from developing due to the “cooling” effect of non-throwing while sitting on the bench. This includes such actions as wrapping a bath towel around the throwing arm, or inserting the pitching arm into one sleeve of a regular athletic jacket. The inventive device herein serve to protect the pitcher's arm from losing its flexibility and warmth when worn on the pitching arm during this time period.

(2) Description of the Related Art, Including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98.

U.S. patent application #2009/0000002A1 (Jan. 1, 2009) A sleeve for use by baseball or softball pitchers is provided. The sleeve covers the entirety of the arm and shoulder and is easily slipped on and off. Pitchers can thereby keep their pitching arm warm by wearing the sleeve between innings. Alternatively, pockets or other securing means are provided whereby a wearer can add a heating or cooling pad or bag so that the arm can be warmed or cooled. The sleeve is also useful for purposes other than keeping a pitching arm warm. For example, an arm that is sore from muscle strain or after an operation can be cooled by using cold packs in the sleeve so that swelling is minimized.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,974,586 (Nov. 2, 1999) The invention is a sunlight-blocking sleeve for protecting the skin on the arms and shoulders of a wearer from sunlight. The inventive device includes a pair of sleeves with each sleeve having opposite wrist and shoulder openings and which is adapted for wearing on the arm and shoulder of a wearer the sleeve. An elongate flexible strap is coupled to the sleeve around the periphery of the shoulder. The flexible strap has a free end portion which is attachable to another portion of the flexible strap to hold the sleeve over the shoulder of a wearer.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,035,001 (Jul. 30, 1991) Discloses a garment for use by athletes for retaining body heat adjacent to the arm and shoulder muscles and the major muscles utilized while throwing an object. The throwing motion utilizes the upper back and torso muscles in addition to the shoulder and arm muscles. Thus, it is desirable to retain heat on these muscles to prevent them from “tightening up” while the athlete is idle, such as between innings of a baseball game.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,985,934 (Jan. 22, 1991) A, sleeve to be worn by a sports player, such as a baseball pitcher, is disclosed herein for covering the favored pitching arm of the player and the sleeve includes a pair of inside pockets located adjacent to the elbow and shoulder joint areas intended to be kept warm. The pockets insertably receive a therapeutic pack, either an electrical heating device or a cold, pack as desired. The sleeve is attached to a partial torso covering portion to which securement straps are attached for releasably retaining the sleeve and torso covering portion.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

While resting on the bench between innings, the temperature of a pitcher's arm muscles can cool fairly rapidly. Upon taking his place on the pitching mound for the next inning, the pitcher must again undergo the stress of hard throwing, despite the throwing arm muscles having contracted due to the cooling effect between innings. The inventive concept herein assists in minimizing the contracting of the pitcher's arm muscles by providing a mechanism for retention of the muscles' heat during the bench sitting period.

Essentially, the invention is a quick-donning mini-jacket fitted at an appropriate size for the pitcher's throwing arm, and/or the non-throwing arm. Almost all U.S. major league pitchers commonly wear a partially-donned jacket in between innings, even during summer months. Wearing half of a baseball jacket can be both cumbersome and inefficient. In contrast, the pitcher can maintain his throwing arm in readiness on the bench by inserting his arm into one sleeve of the mini jacket disclosed so that his arm is kept warm and relaxed. This will result in less soreness the next day, as well as a lower risk of injury during a pitcher's career.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 depicts the right-handed segment of the mini-jacket.

FIG. 2 displays two contrasting views of the opposite segments of the mini-jacket.

FIG. 3 presents the left-handed segment of the mini-jacket.

Nomenclature
 1. Left segment mini-jacket
 2. Right segment mini-jacket
 3. Left upper elastic band
 4. Right upper elastic band
 5. Left lower elastic band
 6. Right lower elastic band
 7. Left inner elastic band
 8. Right inner elastic band
 9. Left sleeve lining
10. Right sleeve lining
11. Left adjustment strap
12. Right adjustment strap
13. Left hook component
14. Right hook component
15. Left felt component
16. Right felt component
17. Left elbow expansion section
18. Right elbow expansion section
19. Left wrist cuff
20. Right wrist cuff

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Beginning with FIG. 1, there is shown the right-handed segment of the mini-jacket 2. Features disclosed include an elastic wrist cuff 20, an elbow expansion section 18, an upper elastic band section 4, an adjustment strap 12, and the hook component 14 of a hook-and-felt fastening mechanism. The wrist cuff 20 may take the form of an expansive web-like material that elastically closes about the wrist of the player, or it may be of a hook-and-felt fastening mechanism to securely close the sleeve of the mini jacket about the wrist. The elbow expansion section 18 may be utilized for the placement of extra cushioning, healing medicaments, or padding of various types for comfort of the player's elbow.

FIG. 2 depicts both components of the mini jacket inventive concept: the left-handed segment 1 and the right-handed segment 2. In observing the left-handed segment 1 in FIG. 2, there is shown an elastic wrist cuff 19, an elbow expansion section 17, an upper elastic band section 3, the sleeve lining 10, an adjustment strap 11, the hook component 13 of a hook-and-felt fastening mechanism, and the felt component 15 of a hook-and felt fastening mechanism. Upon insertion of the arm into the left-handed segment 1, the wearer may have a snug comfortable fit of the garment about the shoulder perimeter by virtue of the left inner elastic band 7. The left inner elastic band 7 is constructed with sufficient tension so as to cause the left-handed segment 1 to graspingly and comfortably fit about the shoulder joint.

In the event that a wearer of either segment 1, 2, of the mini jacket determines the need for greater tensioned force about the shoulder, he/she may make use of the left, right, adjustment strap 11, 12. By way of illustration, in the preferred embodiment, the left adjustment strap 11 is connected to a left inner elastic band 7, and the free end of the left adjustment strap 11 comprises the felt component 15 of a hook-and-felt fastening mechanism. FIG. 2 shows that the left inner elastic band 7 is attached to the shoulder area of the left segment 1 of the mini-jacket and continues around the shoulder area to attachingly underlie the hook component 13 of a hook-and-felt fastening mechanism. The left inner elastic band 7 further transitions into the left lower elastic band 5.

Simply grasping the felt component 15 and tugging ample length of the strap 11, the tensile force about the shoulder joint is increased by placing felt component 15 at a desirable location on the surface of the hook component 13.

Similarly, a wearer may desire a greater tensioning of the right segment 2 of the mini-jacket. In viewing FIG. 2, the right adjustment strap 12 is connected to a right inner elastic band 8, and the free end of the right adjustment strap 12 comprises the felt component 16 of a hook-and-felt fastening mechanism. The right inner elastic band 8 is attached to the shoulder area of the right segment 2 of the mini-jacket and continues around the shoulder area to attachingly underlie the hook component 14 of a hook-and-felt fastening mechanism. The right inner elastic band 8 further transitions into the right lower elastic band 6. By grasping the felt component 16 and tugging ample length of the strap 12, the tensile force about the shoulder joint is increased by placing the felt component 16 at a desirable location on the surface of the hook component 14.

FIG. 3 depicts a baseball pitcher wearing the left segment 1 of the mini jacket, having the left adjustment strap 11 secured to the left hook component 13 of the fastening mechanism. The inventive concept may also be fabricated with other than a hook-and-felt mechanism. For example, a strap comprising a free end having symmetrically-spaced holes for encompassing a frame-and-prong belt buckle attached to the other end of said strap may be used as the tension adjusting means.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the mini-jacket may be fabricated from plain material, or a special quilted fabric may be used, or any other appropriate, durable fabric. In any event, the construction of the material for the mini-jacket is preferably of an insulative material with layers of fabric, thereby providing protection from the elements and also cushioning and padding for the arm and elbow.

While preferred embodiments of the present inventive concept have been shown and disclosed herein, it will be obvious to those persons skilled in the art that such embodiments are presented by way of example only, and not as a limitation to the scope of the inventive concept. Numerous variations, changes, and substitutions may occur or be suggested to those skilled in the art without departing from the intent, scope, and totality of this inventive concept. Such variations, changes, and substitutions may involve other features which are already known per se and which may be used instead of, in combination with, or in addition to features already disclosed herein. Accordingly, it is intended that this inventive concept be inclusive of such variations, changes, and substitutions, and by no means limited by the scope of the claims presented herein.