Title:
MOLDED RUBBERIZED TODDLER PRIMER BALL GLOVE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An easy to use ball-catching glove is used by toddlers as their first glove. It is padded by the thickness and characteristic shock-absorbing quality of Plastisol, gum rubber, silicone rubber material, soft plastic material, any of a variety of materials or combinations of materials having a hardness value in a range of 10 to 90 on a Shore 00 hardness scale, or any rubber-like material or other material from which it is molded as one piece. The glove is highly malleable and resilient, with living hinges that assist in the ease of opening and closing the glove. The exterior surface of the glove is a high friction surface to assist the ball staying on the glove until the fingers and thumb can be wrapped around it. The glove is brightly colored and toy-like in shape.



Inventors:
Neff, John D. (Austin, TX, US)
Application Number:
14/035687
Publication Date:
03/26/2015
Filing Date:
09/24/2013
Assignee:
NEFF JOHN D.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B71/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John D Neff (Austin, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A ball catching toddler primer glove for use as a toddler's first ball glove, the primer glove comprising: a primer ball glove for a toddler, the glove completely molded from a rubberized shock absorbing material into a glove which is self-padded by the thickness and characteristic soft shock absorbing quality of the material for use as a primer glove for toddlers, the glove being malleable so that it is easy to open and close in catching a ball with recessed crevices of material between the fingers and thumbs forming living hinges, the glove having a high friction exterior surface for ease of catching and holding onto a ball, to enable a toddler to have a first experience in catching a ball in the glove easily without any harm to the hand of the toddler, the glove having rounded puffy finger and thumb portions and an indented palm portion with surrounding rounded puffy edges in a toy-like fun and playful structure formed into thickly padded surfaces surrounding a small interior opening for admitting and protecting a hand of the toddler thereby providing a ball catching toddler primer glove for use as a toddler's first ball glove.

2. The primer glove of claim 1 wherein the glove is molded from a Plastisol material.

3. The primer glove of claim 1 wherein the glove is molded from a gum rubber material.

4. The primer glove of claim 1 wherein the glove is molded from a silicone rubber material.

5. The primer glove of claim 1 wherein the glove is molded from a soft plastic material.

6. The primer glove of claim 1 wherein the glove is molded from any of a variety of materials having a hardness value in a range of 10 to 90 on a Shore 00 hardness scale.

7. The primer glove of claim 1 wherein the glove is molded from any of a variety of combinations of materials having a hardness value in a range of 10 to 90 on a Shore 00 hardness scale.

8. The primer glove of claim 1 wherein the glove is molded from a rubber-like brightly colored material.

9. The primer glove of claim 1 wherein the glove is molded from any of a variety of brightly colored materials.

10. The primer glove of claim 1 wherein the glove is molded from any of a variety of combinations of brightly colored materials.

11. The primer glove of claim 1 wherein the glove is molded into a toy-like glove configuration.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to ball gloves and in particular to a ball catching primer glove for use as a toddler's first ball glove, the primer glove being completely molded from Plastisol, gum rubber, silicone rubber material, soft plastic material, any of a variety of materials or combinations of materials having a hardness value in a range of 10 to 90 on a Shore 00 hardness scale, or any rubber-like material or other material that is brightly colored and molded into a toy-like glove configuration into a thick self-padded glove, body and fingers and thumb and web having a thickness and characteristic soft shock absorbing quality of the material so that it protects a hand of the toddler in the glove, the glove being highly malleable and having living hinges between the palm portion and the fingers and thumb portions so that the glove is easy to open and close in catching a ball, just for the toddler to get used to catching a ball in a glove easily without any harm to the toddler, a glove which has a toy-like fun and playful structure which could be made in bright colors to provide a friendly, fun, safe introduction to catching a ball in a glove for toddlers.

2. Description of Related Art including information disclosed under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98

While there are baseball gloves that are partially molded of plastic and rubber, all of the prior art gloves involve extra parts, such as fabric molded into the rubber molding or glove inserts or webbing or stitching or gluing together front and back portions or exterior hand retainers or interior padding. Most of the prior art attempts to simulate the actual structure and function of traditional leather baseball gloves and are intended for use in the practice and play of baseball. Some of the learning assists in the prior gloves are intended to be removed leaving a regulation baseball glove for playing the game.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,279,681 issued Jul. 21, 1981 to Klimezky, provides an integrally molded plastic baseball glove utilizable in the game of baseball as a catching device for protecting the hand. The final molded article has the aesthetic appearance of a leather baseball glove. The method of making includes first molding a hollow plastic shell which forms exterior convex front and back surfaces of the baseball glove, the shell front and back surface having exterior, shaped-segments including patterned depressions and protuberances which form outlines delineating the fingers and thumb areas of the glove, a pair of webs between the thumb and index finger areas, an additional surface including cut out lines and lacing to make it look like a leather glove. The shell may be molded utilizing slush, rotation or blow-injection techniques. The mold face itself that forms the front glove shell exterior surface is not an exact replica of the final glove form but is distorted in surface configuration such that the front exterior surface when molded is convex overall. When the glove is finally constructed, the front exterior surface is substantially concave, with convex tubular finger and thumb areas. After removal of the shell from the mold, the convex front glove surface is forced inwardly so that the front and back shell areas delineating the fingers and thumb can be joined together. A suitable padding may be inserted (or molded) in the inside palm area of the glove. The webbing is trimmed and perforated and cut outs made where required. A pocket for receiving the ball when inverted from its convex molded shape will be formed from cold setting of the plastic after removal from the mold.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,412,113, issued Jul. 2, 2002 to Guenther et al, is for a ball glove including an outer shell which is formed from textile or fabric reinforced compression molded rubber. The rubber extends into mesh openings in the textile and is mechanically integrated with the textile. The textile strengthens the rubber and reduces the possibility that the rubber will tear at holes for stitches or laces.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,706,519, issued Jan. 13, 1998 to Cooper, claims a waterproof sports glove comprising a pair of superposed flexible pieces of substantially water-impervious material connected and sealed together along the marginal edge portions thereof to define a glove body having an open lower section configured to receive therethrough the hand of a user during use of the glove. The glove body is provided with two finger sections separated from one another by a cut-out portion, and each of the finger sections comprises at least one finger compartment for receiving therein at least one finger of the user's hand. A web of a substantially water-impervious material is disposed within the cut-out portion and interconnects the two finger sections.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,963,376, issued Jan. 30, 19990 to Miner, describes a sport glove construction and a method of using it, including fastening together sheets of plastic material by rigid fastening device into a cup-shaped pocket configuration, forming a front ball receiving side and a rear hand receiving side having a cup-shaped pocket therein. A hand securing device is connected to the outer surface of the back side of the glove construction for proper ventilation purposes. A web device interconnects right and left portions of the front and rear sheets, to help define the pocket. Right and left elongated, resilient pads extend in a generally U-shaped configuration at the rim of the pocket, diverging away from one another at the lower portion of the sheets toward the web device. A plurality of pocket rigid fastening devices are arranged in a spaced apart manner within the pocket adjacent to the pads and secure together the front and rear sheets for helping rigidify flexibly the resulting glove construction.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,402,537, issued Apr. 4, 1995 to Kolada, depicts a baseball or softball glove comprising a shell having a concave, frontal, ball-receiving surface and a rear surface to which a handpiece is attached. The handpiece may be removably or permanently attached and may comprise finger receiving loops formed on the rear surface of the shell. The handpiece is preferably a tight fitting, leather or fabric glove. The preferred shell comprises a sheet-like, flexible skin of a selected flexibility attached to a structural skeleton having a lower flexibility than the skin. A plurality of raised bumps are formed on the ball-receiving surface of the shell near a palm region and around the outer perimeter. Elongated slots are formed through the shell, extending generally parallel to and between finger regions, and in a web region. Preferred lines of flexure are formed at at least one end of each slot, and are localized, thinned regions, along which the shell preferably flexes.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,448,776, issued Sep. 12, 1995 to Caruso, indicates a lightweight, tear resistant sporting mitt for use on or adjacent to beaches and water. The mitt is water repellant and is unaffected by sand, while having sufficient structural strength to withstand heavy use with hard balls such as artificial baseballs. The mitt is formed from substantially congruent alternating planar layers of abuse resistant plastic coated canvas and resilient compressible porous or foam material (two outer layers of canvas, two layers of resilient compressible porous and a central canvas layer. The layers are peripherally sewn to each other, with an opening remaining, at the base of the mitt for hand insertion between resilient compressible porous layers. A hinge line for a ball catching pocket extends from the hand insertion opening to a webbing enclosed cut out section. A canvas webbing segment having a shape and size similar to the cut-out section is positioned in the cut-out area and is peripherally sewn to the edges of the cut-out section, while lateral segments of the mitt are hinged, towards each other, whereby a ball catching pocket is formed.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,678,245, issued Oct. 21, 1997 to Rector et al, specifies a baseball glove having a laminate foam rubber padding with low rebound and energy damping properties, is constructed and arranged to provide stiffness in the longitudinal axial direction of the thumb and forefinger portion of the glove and the little finger portion of the glove but a flexibility in a transverse axial direction across the palm of the hand in a direction toward the little finger portion of the glove, to thereby preclude the “breaking-in” period customarily required for a new glove. The glove laces are made of hollow plastic tubing having elastic memory. The tubular end portions of the lacings are secured to the leather covering by fasteners having planar surfaces carrying advertising indicia.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,300,787, issued Jan. 31, 1967 to Benkert, shows a baseball glove which affords increased protection to the fingers and reduces the danger of injury by the impact of a baseball that is being caught by providing substantial padding.

What is needed is a ball catching primer glove for toddlers intended as a first ball glove, which is completely molded from a rubber-like material which is self-padded by the thickness and characteristic soft shock absorbing quality of the material for use as a primer glove for toddlers just to get used to catching a ball in a glove without any harm to the toddler, a glove which has a toy-like fun and playful structure which could be made in bright colors to provide a friendly, fun, safe introduction to catching a ball in a glove for toddlers.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a ball catching primer glove for toddlers intended as a first ball glove, which is completely molded from Plastisol, gum rubber, silicone rubber material, soft plastic material, any of a variety of materials or combinations of materials having a hardness value in a range of 10 to 90 on a Shore 00 hardness scale, or any rubber-like material or other material that is brightly colored and molded into a toy-like glove configuration so that the glove is self-padded by the thickness and characteristic soft shock absorbing quality of the material for use as a primer glove for toddlers, the glove being highly malleable so that it is easy to open and close in catching a ball, just for the toddler to get used to catching a ball in a glove easily without any harm to the toddler, a glove which has a toy-like fun and playful structure which could be made in bright colors to provide a friendly, fun, safe introduction to catching a ball in a glove for toddlers.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a living hinge (recessed easy to bend line of reduced material forming a valley) between the palm portion and each of the fingers and the thumb to make it easy for the toddler's fingers to bend the fingers and thumb of the glove to catch the ball.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a ball catching glove which is completely waterproof and sturdy yet soft and protective of the toddler's hand in the glove.

In brief, the present invention provides a ball catching primer glove for use as a toddler's first ball glove, the primer glove being completely molded from Plastisol, gum rubber, silicone rubber material, soft plastic material, any of a variety of materials or combinations of materials having a hardness value in a range of 10 to 90 on a Shore 00 hardness scale, or any rubber-like material or other material that is brightly colored and molded into a toy-like glove configuration into a thick self-padded glove body and fingers and thumb and web having a thickness and characteristic soft shock absorbing quality of the material so that it protects a hand of the toddler in the glove. The glove is highly malleable and resilient and has living hinges between the palm portion and the fingers and thumb portions so that the glove is easy to open and close in catching a ball. The primer glove is structured just for the toddler to get used to catching a ball in a glove easily without any harm to the toddler. The primer glove has a toy-like fun and playful structure which could be made in bright colors to provide a friendly, fun, safe introduction to catching a ball in a glove for toddlers.

An advantage of the present invention is that it provides a hand-protecting first primer ball catching glove for toddlers.

Another advantage of the present invention is that it provides a molded glove that is easy to fabricate.

An additional advantage of the present invention is that it provides an easy to open and easy to close malleability by using living hinges.

An added advantage of the present invention is that it provides a soft rubberized glove which may be made in many different colors like a toy.

One more advantage of the present invention is that it provides a waterproof and weather-proof ball glove.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other details of the present invention will be described in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are furnished only by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention, and in which drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the primer ball glove of the present invention showing the palm, finger, thumb, and web portions of the glove;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken from a center of the hand opening through a mid-portion of the palm and through a finger, showing the greater thickness of the molded rubberized material and smaller height of the interior space for the hand of a toddler.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In FIGS. 1 and 2, a ball catching toddler primer glove 10 for use as a toddler's first primer ball glove comprises palm 11, finger 12, thumb 14, and web 13 portions all molded together.

The glove 10 is completely molded from a rubberized shock absorbing material forming a glove 10 which is self-padded by the thickness and characteristic soft shock absorbing quality of the material used. The glove 10 is malleable so that it is easy to open and close when catching a ball. Recessed crevices of material between the fingers 12 and palm 11, as well as the thumb 14 and palm 11, form living hinges 18 to further increase the ease of opening and closing the glove 10. A web 13 between the thumb 14 and fingers 12, also adds to the ease of closing the glove around the ball. The glove 10 has a high-friction exterior surface for ease of catching and holding onto a ball and rounded puffy finger 12 and thumb 14 portions, enabling a toddler to have a first experience in catching a ball in the glove 10 easily, without any harm to the hand of the toddler. The palm portion 11 is indented and surrounded with rounded puffy edges. The glove 10 has a toy-like, fun, and playful structure formed into thickly padded surfaces surrounding a small interior opening 15 for admitting and protecting a hand of the toddler. The opening 15 extends into the interior of the glove with an area for the hand 16, including openings for the fingers 17 of the toddler, as shown in FIG. 2. The ball catching primer glove 10 is intended for use as a toddler's first primer ball glove.

The primer glove 10 can be molded from, but is not limited to, a Plastisol, a gum rubber material, a silicone rubber material, a soft plastic material, any of a variety of materials or combinations of materials having a hardness value in a range of 10 to 90 on a Shore 00 hardness scale, or any rubber-like material or other material that is brightly colored and molded into a toy-like glove configuration.

In use, the brightly colored, toy-like primer glove serves as a toddler's first introduction to catching a ball with a glove. The toddler places his/her hand into the opening of the molded glove until his/her fingers and thumb are inserted into the finger and thumb portion of the glove. He/she catches a tossed ball when it is ‘grabbed’ by the high-friction exterior surface of the glove and then closes his/her fingers and thumb easily around the ball by engaging the living hinges. The soft, shock-absorbing surface of the glove provides protection from the sting a tossed ball could potentially have.

It is understood that the preceding description is given merely by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention and that various modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed.