|Publication number||US3877698 A|
|Publication date||15 Apr 1975|
|Filing date||28 Nov 1973|
|Priority date||28 Nov 1973|
|Publication number||US 3877698 A, US 3877698A, US-A-3877698, US3877698 A, US3877698A|
|Inventors||Volpe Michael A|
|Original Assignee||Volpe Michael A|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (9), Referenced by (84), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Volpe Apr. 15, 1975  BASEBALL BAT WITH REPLACEABLE 3,1 16,926 l/l964 Owen et al. 273/72 R BALL STRIKING PORTION 3,246,894 4/1966 Salisbury 273/72 R 3,392,976 7/1968 Hayes 273/72 R  Inventor: Michael A. Volpe, 447 Natchez St., 3,57 01 5 1971 Piazza... 273 72 R Pittsburgh, Pa. 15211 3,652,094 3/1972 Glover 273/171  Flled' 1973 Primary Examiner-Richard J. Apley  App]. No.: 419,483 Attorney, Agent, or FirmBrown, Murray, Flick &
Peckham  US. Cl 273/72 R 51 Int. (:1 A63b 59/06  ABSTRAC T  Field of Search 273/26 B, 67 R, 67 D, 72 R A baseball bat has a handle w1th a stem omed to 1ts 273/72 A, 73 R, 73 C 73 J, 75, 80 R 80;], front end and extending forward from it, the stem ex- 81 R, 812, 171 82 R tending into a longitudinal bore in a removable barrel that has an outer ballstriking surface. The diameter of  References Cited the bore is greater than the diameter of the stem, UNITED STATES PATENTS wh1ch has annular grooves spaced lengthwise of it and containing elastic rings compressed between the stem i 7 3 77; and the encircling barrel to hold the barrel in place e e 2,379,006 6/1945 Johnson 273/72 R and Space fmm the stem 2,607,956 8/1952 Brutus 273/80] UX 8 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures BASEBALL BAT WITH REPLACEABLE BALL-STRIKING PORTION It is not unusual for baseball bats to crack or to break, the break usually occurring near the front end of the handle, which is the end farther from the body of the batter. Of course, it is then necessary to replace the entire bat. To overcome the breakage problem, baseball bats also have been made of metal. In order that such bats will not be too heavy, they are hollow. One objection to metal bats is the metallic sound they produce when they strike baseballs. Also, they often are made of metal tubing that is so thin that it can be dented by the balls.
It is among the objects of this invention to provide a baseball bat which will not break at the handle, which has a replaceable ball-striking portion that can be metal or wood, which can be balanced and weighted to suit the player and, when all metal, will not make a hollow metallic sound when striking baseballs.
The invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which,
FIG. 1 is a side view ofa bat with a wood barrel partly in longitudinal section;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross section taken on the line lllI of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary side view partly in section, showing the handle and stem before assembly with the barrel; and
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary longitudinal section of a modification using a metal barrel.
Referring to FIGS. 1 to 3 of the drawings, a baseball bat handle 1 is made from a high impact unbreakable plastic or from a light-weight metal, such as aluminum. Extending forward from the inner or front end of the handle is a stem 2 that is rigidly joined to the handle, preferably by being made integral with it. The major diameter of the stem is less than the diameter of the front end of the handle so that the handle forms a radial shoulder 3 around the stem. This stem extends into a longitudinal bore 4 in the hitting or ball-striking portion of the bat, referred to herein as the barrel 5. The diameter of the bore is somewhat greater than the diameter of the stern. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the barrel is made of wood, which may be treated in such a way as to increase its strength and useful life.
In order to hold the barrel securely on the stem and yet permit them to be separated when necessary, the stem is provided with a plurality of annular grooves 7 that are spaced along it. The exact number of grooves is not critical, but there should be a fairly large number of them. Mounted in these grooves, or in at least most of them, are compressible elastic rings 8 made of rubber or the like. As shown in FIG. 3, they normally project from the grooves far enough to require them to be compressed by the barrel when the stem is inserted in the barrel. The rings also project far enough and resist compression to such an extent as to require considerable pressure to force the stem into the barrel bore as far as it will go. The compressed rings will still project from the grooves a short distance and will therefore space the barrel from the stem as shown in FIG. 1. The frictional engagement of the barrel with the rings inside of it will hold it securely on the stem but permit it to be pulled off when sufficient force is applied.
The sides of grooves 7 preferably flare outwardly to provide areas into which the elastic rings can bulge when they are compressed by the barrel. As shown in FIG. 3, it also is desirable that the sides of each ring be normally inclined outwardly toward each other and terminate in' a substantially flat outer surface. This shape of ring aids in inserting the rings in the barrel by helping to keep the rings from being rolled over when the stem is pushed into the barrel, especially if the end wall of the barrel at its open end is tapered inwardly to give it the same inclination as the sides of the rings it engages during assembly of the bat. To prevent the barrel from directly engaging the handle, a resilient spacing ring 9 is mounted on the stem. This ring has a flat surface en gaging the handle shoulder 3, and a tapered surface engaged by the tapered end wall of the barrel. Consequently, no part of the barrel touches the handle and stem.
The balance of a baseball bat is important to a ball player and this bat can readily be balanced at any de sired point along it by substituting one or more weights for the elastic rings around the stem. The weight is preferably composed of a split lead ring 11 that is opened sufficiently to slip it over the stem in one of the grooves 7 and then is compressed tightly around the stem. Of course, the periphery of this weight is spaced from the encircling wall of the barrel. Such a weight should not be placed in either of the grooves at the front end of the stem because elastic rings are needed at that point to prevent the barrel from possibly canting on the stem and coming in contact with it when the bat strikes a ball.
To provide a heavier bat, one or more lead discs 13 can be forced into a cup 14 of rubber or the like in the closed end of the barrel bore. Forcing this weight into the cup, which compresses the cup side wall against the wall of the bore, assures that both will be securely held in place. They will also reinforce the bat at that point. If a lighter bat is desired, a short section of an aluminum tube can be substituted for the lead weight.
In the modification shown in FIG. 4, the barrel 16 is made economically from a shaped metal tube that is open at both its ends. The opening in the front or outer end of the barrel is closed by a plug 17 of rubber or the like bonded to the end of the stem 18 inside the tube. To help in holding the plug in place, the end of the stem can be provided with a reduced diameter extension 19 that fits tightly in a socket in the plug. Although the barrel is made of metal, the bat will not sound like a metal bat when it strikes a ball because the metallic sound will be deadened by the elastic rings 20 that are pressed tightly against the inner surface of the barrel. If the barrel is damaged in use, it will be cheaper to replace than a one-piece metal bat.
It will be understood that with the bat described herein, in which there is no contact between the barrel and the stem or handle, no jarring vibration or sting can be transmitted through the handle to the batter when he strikes a ball. This bat can be made to have the same impact or effect on a ball as do the wooden bats that are in general use today. This is done by the correct choice of elastic ring size and resiliency and the distance the rings project from the grooves in the stem to increase or decrease the compression of the rings and their resultant pressure against the barrel.
Many users of baseball bats, especially professional ball players, require the bats they use to have what they describe as a certain feel. This is determined mostly by three elements of the bat construction; namely, the
handle diameter, the total weight of the bat and its point of balance. The handle of this bat can be made as small in diameter as desired and less than an all wood bat because of the much greater strength of metal or a high impact plastic. The grip can be improved with tape or a suitable coating and also by forming alternate ridges and grooves around the handle. This last procedure could make an all wood bat too weak for use. As explained earlier herein, the weight of the bat can be increased by metal rings 11 and/or discs 13. The loca tion of metal weights 11 and the elastic rings along the stem will determine the balance of the bat. The balance of any given bat can be indicated by a mark on its outer surface.
Even though the bat may have a metal handle, the portion of the bat that strikes a ball can still be wood. It this'portion or barrel is damaged in use, it can be replaced without replacing the handle. Replacing only the barrel is cheaper than replacing an entire bat and it also conserves lumber. Since the barrel is held on the stem solely by frictional engagement with the elastic rings, no fastening members or adhesives are required which would complicate the assembly of the bat and the removal of the barrel. In the case of an individual using the bat, replacement can be made by splitting off the damaged wood barrel and pounding a new barrel down over the stem. On the other hand, sellers of these bats and the ball clubs that buy them can be provided with mechanical means for pulling the barrels off the stems and forcing new barrels onto them. The sellers of the bats can also provide ball clubs with charts indicating the number of weight rings and/or weight discs required to provide a bat of any desired weight. The chart can also show them what has to be done in order to locate the bat's point of balance at any desired point along the length of the bat.
Even though this bat is equipped with a metal barrel, it is cheaper to make than the present one-piece metal bats and it does not produce the objectionable metallic sound that conventional metal bats give off when striking baseballs.
According to the provisions of the patent statutes, I have explained the principle of my invention and have illustrated and described what I now consider to represent its best embodiment. However, I desire to have it understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically illustrated and described.
l. A composite baseball bat with a replaceable ballstriking portion, comprising a handle having front and rear ends, a stem joined to the front end of the handle and extending. forward therefrom, a removable barrel provided with a longitudinal bore receiving substantially all of said stem, the diameter of said bore being greater than the diameter of the stem to space the barrel from the stem, the barrel having an outer ballstriking surface, said stem being provided with a plurality of annular grooves spaced lengthwise thereof, and elastic rings in at least most of the grooves and projecting therefrom, said rings being compressed between the stem and the encircling barrel to hold the barrel in place and space it from said stem. 1
2. A composite baseball bat according to claim 1, in which at least one of said grooves contains a metal weight ring instead of an elastic ring, said weight ring being spaced from the encircling barrel.
3. A composite baseball bat according to claim 1, in which said elastic rings are in most of said grooves, including the two grooves nearest the front end of the stern, and a metal weight ring is disposed in a groove behind said two grooves and is spaced from the encircling barrel.
4. A composite baseball bat according to claim 1, in which the front end of the handle has a forwardly facing radial shoulder encircling the rear end of the stem, and a resilient spacing ring encircles the stem in engagement with said shoulder and the rear end of the barrel.
5. A composite baseball bat according to claim 1, in which the portions of said elastic rings that project from said grooves before the stem is inserted in the barrel bore have rearwardly inclined front surfaces, and the rear end of the barrel has an inwardly tapered end wall for engaging said inclined surfaces as the bat is assembled.
6. A composite baseball bat according to claim 1, including a metal weight between the front ends of said stem and bore, and compressed resilient means spacing said weight from the barrel.
7. A composite baseball bat according to claim 1, in which said barrel is wood, and said handle and stem are made of another material.
8. A composite baseball bat according to claim 1, in which said barrel is a metal tube, and a rubber plug secured to the front end of said stem closes the front end of said tube.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US275627 *||20 Jan 1883||10 Apr 1883||dudley|
|US546540 *||2 Jan 1895||17 Sep 1895||Ball-bat|
|US2379006 *||30 Aug 1943||26 Jun 1945||Johnson Theodore L||Construction of striking implements|
|US2607956 *||15 Mar 1950||26 Aug 1952||Lee N Brutus||Method of making threaded locking devices|
|US3116926 *||16 Apr 1962||7 Jan 1964||Charles W Owens||Weighted baseball bat|
|US3246894 *||11 Mar 1963||19 Apr 1966||Salisbury William F||Baseball training bat or similar article|
|US3392976 *||23 Oct 1965||16 Jul 1968||Thomas Hayes||Adjustable baseball bat|
|US3578801 *||30 Dec 1968||18 May 1971||Piazza Raymond||Practice baseball bat|
|US3652094 *||21 Oct 1969||28 Mar 1972||Cecil C Glover||Golf club with adjustable weighting plugs|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US4951948 *||17 Apr 1989||28 Aug 1990||Peng Jung C||Shock absorbing bat|
|US5165686 *||18 Dec 1990||24 Nov 1992||Morgan Edward H||Wooden baseball bat|
|US5219164 *||31 May 1991||15 Jun 1993||Peng Jung Ching||Shock absorbing baseball bat|
|US5303917 *||13 Apr 1992||19 Apr 1994||Uke Alan K||Bat for baseball or softball|
|US5409214 *||7 Sep 1994||25 Apr 1995||Mclellan-Cook Sports, Inc.||Baseball bat|
|US6062995 *||26 Sep 1996||16 May 2000||Bauer, Inc.||Joint assembly comprising a deforming element|
|US6077178 *||15 Dec 1997||20 Jun 2000||Brandt; Richard A.||Striking implement|
|US6432006||14 Dec 1999||13 Aug 2002||James G. Tribble||Metal/wood bat|
|US6485382||9 Mar 2001||26 Nov 2002||Sam Chen||Bat having fiber/resin handle and metal hitting member and method of making|
|US6511392 *||8 Feb 1999||28 Jan 2003||Haroon Chohan||Baseball bat with interchangeable portions|
|US6609984||9 Aug 2002||26 Aug 2003||James G. Tribble||Metal/wood bat|
|US6692386 *||13 Feb 2001||17 Feb 2004||Scott Brundage||Training sports club and method|
|US6702698 *||15 May 2003||9 Mar 2004||Wilson Sporting Goods Co.||Bat with composite handle|
|US6743127 *||2 Apr 2002||1 Jun 2004||Wilson Sporting Goods Co.||Bat with composite handle|
|US6758771||18 Jan 2002||6 Jul 2004||West Virginia Bats, Llc||Metal/wood bat connection assembly|
|US6824482||20 Jun 2003||30 Nov 2004||West Virginia Bats, Llc||Metal/wood bat connection assembly|
|US6863628 *||20 Mar 2000||8 Mar 2005||Richard A. Brandt||Vibration damping striking implement|
|US6875137||17 Jul 2003||5 Apr 2005||Hoonforsythe Technologies Llc||Reconfigurable ball bat and method|
|US6878080 *||12 Nov 2003||12 Apr 2005||Jung-Shih Chang||Combination bat for baseball|
|US6899648 *||12 Nov 2003||31 May 2005||Jung-Shih Chang||Wood bat internally and externally reinforced with composite material or metal|
|US6905429||8 May 2003||14 Jun 2005||Hoonforsythe Technologies Llc||Baseball bat with replaceable barrel|
|US6945886 *||28 Oct 2003||20 Sep 2005||Wilson Sporting Goods Co.||Bat with composite handle|
|US6991551 *||8 Jan 2004||31 Jan 2006||Jas. D. Easton, Inc.||Composite ball bat having a metal knob|
|US7014580||13 Feb 2004||21 Mar 2006||Hoon/Forsythe Technologies, Llc||Reconfigurable ball bat and method|
|US7044871 *||2 Apr 2004||16 May 2006||Ce Composites Baseball Inc.||Tubular baseball bats with full length core shafts|
|US7052419 *||10 Jun 2004||30 May 2006||Jung-Shih Chang||Ball bat|
|US7097578||28 Apr 2004||29 Aug 2006||Wilson Sporting Goods Co.||Bat having a flexible handle|
|US7140988||10 Aug 2004||28 Nov 2006||Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc.||Bat with interchangeable handle and barrel|
|US7201679 *||3 May 2005||10 Apr 2007||Thu Van Nguyen||Sectional vibration damping, flexible bat|
|US7235024||24 Jun 2005||26 Jun 2007||West Virginia Bats, Llc||Training bat|
|US7267619 *||21 Jun 2006||11 Sep 2007||Pettis William J||Golf club balancing apparatus|
|US7320653 *||25 Apr 2006||22 Jan 2008||Ce Composites Baseball Inc.||Tubular baseball bats with full length core shafts|
|US7344461||27 Feb 2006||18 Mar 2008||Thu Van Nguyen||Composite bat with metal sleeve|
|US7377866||15 Feb 2006||27 May 2008||Thu Van Nguyen||Multi-component bat having threaded connection and assembly process|
|US7381141||2 Mar 2006||3 Jun 2008||Thu Van Nguyen||Multi-component bat and assembly process|
|US7410433||28 Apr 2006||12 Aug 2008||Wilson Sporting Goods Co.||Bat handle with optimal damping|
|US7572197||3 Jan 2006||11 Aug 2009||Easton Sports, Inc.||Multi-piece ball bat connected via a flexible joint|
|US7601083||13 Oct 2009||Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc.||Bat with interchangeable sections|
|US7749114 *||6 Jul 2010||True Temper Sports, Inc.||Composite bat|
|US7798926 *||14 Jul 2009||21 Sep 2010||Joseph Hsu||Composite baseball bat|
|US7850554 *||3 Dec 2008||14 Dec 2010||Hillerich & Bradsby Co.||Apparatus for deterring modification of sports equipment|
|US7942764 *||17 May 2011||Min-Ju Chung||Baseball bat|
|US8062154 *||22 Nov 2011||Hillerich & Bradsby||Apparatus for deterring modification of sports equipment|
|US8226505 *||27 Oct 2009||24 Jul 2012||Hillerich & Bradsby Co.||Vibration dampening ball bat|
|US8277343 *||2 Oct 2012||Jung-Shih Chang||Bat constructed for striking a ball|
|US8298102 *||23 Dec 2008||30 Oct 2012||Easton Sports, Inc.||Ball bat with governed performance|
|US8480519 *||15 Oct 2012||9 Jul 2013||Easton Sports, Inc.||Ball bat with governed performance|
|US8512174||29 Dec 2010||20 Aug 2013||Wilson Sporting Goods Co.||Ball bat including a barrel portion having separate proximal and distal members|
|US8512175||29 Dec 2010||20 Aug 2013||Wilson Sporting Goods Co.||Ball bat including a barrel portion having separate proximal and distal members|
|US8632428 *||17 Dec 2010||21 Jan 2014||Hillerich & Bradsby Co.||Ball bat with internal impact dampening means|
|US8715118||29 Dec 2010||6 May 2014||Wilson Sporting Goods Co.||Ball bat including a barrel portion having separate proximal and distal members|
|US8795108 *||13 Jun 2013||5 Aug 2014||Easton Baseball/Softball Inc.||Ball bat with governed performance|
|US8936522 *||20 Sep 2012||20 Jan 2015||Swing Strong, LLC||Batting swing training device|
|US8998754||9 Sep 2014||7 Apr 2015||5 Star, Llc||Handle weighted bat and assembly process|
|US20030186763 *||2 Apr 2002||2 Oct 2003||Wilson Sporting Goods Co.||Bat with composite handle|
|US20030195066 *||15 May 2003||16 Oct 2003||Wilson Sporting Goods Co.||Bat with composite handle|
|US20040053716 *||13 Sep 2002||18 Mar 2004||Happy Wu||Bat structure|
|US20040077439 *||28 Oct 2003||22 Apr 2004||Wilson Sporting Goods Co.||Bat with composite handle|
|US20040171990 *||27 Feb 2004||2 Sep 2004||Dennis William G.||Surgical instrument seal assembly|
|US20040224801 *||8 May 2003||11 Nov 2004||Forsythe Paul D.||Baseball bat with replaceable barrel|
|US20040224802 *||17 Jul 2003||11 Nov 2004||Forsythe Paul D.||Reconfigurable ball bat and method|
|US20050003913 *||28 Apr 2004||6 Jan 2005||Wilson Sporting Goods Co.||Bat having a flexible handle|
|US20050059515 *||12 Nov 2003||17 Mar 2005||Jung-Shih Chang||Combination bat for baseball|
|US20050070383 *||12 Nov 2003||31 Mar 2005||Jung-Shih Chang||Wood bat internally and externally reinforced with composite material or metal|
|US20050153800 *||8 Jan 2004||14 Jul 2005||Jas D. Easton, Inc.||Composite ball bat having a metal knob|
|US20050221924 *||2 Apr 2004||6 Oct 2005||Sutherland Terrance W||Tubular baseball bats with full length core shafts|
|US20050277497 *||10 Jun 2004||15 Dec 2005||Jung-Shih Chang||Ball bat|
|US20050288130 *||24 Jun 2005||29 Dec 2005||James Lefebvre||Training bat|
|US20060252586 *||3 May 2005||9 Nov 2006||Nguyen Thu V||Sectional vibration damping, flexible bat|
|US20060293130 *||28 Apr 2006||28 Dec 2006||Wilson Sporting Goods Co.||Bat handle with optimal damping|
|US20070135241 *||8 Dec 2005||14 Jun 2007||Badger Bat Company Llc||Training baseball bat|
|US20070155546 *||3 Jan 2006||5 Jul 2007||Dewey Chauvin||Multi-piece ball bat connected via a flexible joint|
|US20070191156 *||15 Feb 2006||16 Aug 2007||Thu Van Nguyen||A multi-component bat having threaded connection and assembly process|
|US20090143176 *||3 Dec 2008||4 Jun 2009||Hillerich & Bradsby Co.||Apparatus for deterring modification of sports equipment|
|US20090264230 *||22 Apr 2008||22 Oct 2009||Maxime Thouin||Composite bat|
|US20100160095 *||23 Dec 2008||24 Jun 2010||Dewey Chauvin||Ball bat with governed performance|
|US20110111892 *||12 May 2011||True Temper Sports, Inc.||Bat with handle having internal core member and method of making same|
|US20110152015 *||17 Dec 2010||23 Jun 2011||Hillerich & Bradsby Co.||Ball bat with internal impact dampening means|
|US20110237366 *||29 Sep 2011||Jung-Shih Chang||Bat constructed for striking a ball|
|US20130274039 *||13 Jun 2013||17 Oct 2013||Easton Sports, Inc.||Ball bat with governed performance|
|US20140080639 *||20 Sep 2012||20 Mar 2014||Swing Strong, LLC||Batting swing training device|
|WO1997009094A1 *||3 Sep 1996||13 Mar 1997||Vertebrex Golf L L C||Golf club stabilizer and method of stabilizing a golf club|
|WO1997011755A1 *||26 Sep 1996||3 Apr 1997||Bauer Inc||Joint assembly comprising a deforming element|
|WO2000035541A1 *||14 Dec 1999||22 Jun 2000||James G Tribble||Metal and wood bat|
|U.S. Classification||473/520, 473/566|
|International Classification||A63B59/06, A63B59/00|