US 2281315: "BASEBALL MITT (OCR)"



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Patent Overview

Patent Title: BASEBALL MITT (OCR)
Patent Number: 2281315 Filing Date: Sep 12, 1940
Application Number: Issue Date: Apr 28, 1942
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Description

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April 28, 1942. H. B. LATINA 2v28lt3l5 BASEBALL MITT Filed Sept. 12, 1940 FIG.I. A c FIG.2. I G A c fNVEN7-OR; HARny,6.,L INA ATRORNEY


Patentid Apr. 28, 1942 21281 1315 @UNITED. STATES PATENT OFFICE 2,281,315 BASEBALL IMTT Harry B. La-tina, East St. Louis, Ill., assignor to Rawlings Manufacturing Company, St. Louis, Mo., a corporation of IMssouri.. Application September 12, 1940, Serial No. 356,442 I Claim. (Cl. 2-19) This invention relates to baseball mitts. to the thumb portion, and in the pperation of The main object of m3@ invention is to provide a baseball mitt, which is of such design or con- struction that when it is subjected to the pres- sure of a caught ball, it will automatically close 5 around the ball in a more effective manner than is possible, with ba@eball mitts@ of conventional constructio n. Another object is to provide a baseball mitt, in which the portijns of the mitt that constitute 10 a pocket for a caught ball, are of such shape and dimensions that the mitt is better balanced on the user's hand than mitts of conventional de- sign. Another object is to provicle a baseball mitt 15 that complies with the rules, regulations and re- quirements pertaining to such devices, and which has a ball back-stop that is more efficient than those employed in mitts of conventional con- struction@ in that the ball contacting surfaces of 20 same is @f greater area, and moreover, is curved so as to conform approximately to the shape of the ball. And still another object of my invention is to provide a baseball mitt, which is of such design 25 or construction that it has sufficient inherent flexibility to overcome the, necessity of the user "breaking in" the mitt, or molding a ball depres- sion or re6ess in same pteparatory to putting the mitt into use. 30 The conventi)onal baseball mitt now in general use, comprises two main padded portions, to wit, a relatively narrow thu I mb portion in which the user's thumb is inserted, and a relatively wide finger portion in which the user's fingers are 3.@) inserted, the space or gap between said two por- tions being. bridged by a plurahty of horizon- tally- disposed strands, f-hongs, or lacings that constitute a back@stop, which when struck by a caught ball, tends to cause the mitt to automat- 40 icauy close around the bali. Due to the fact that the padded fingpr portion,is relatively stiff and exceedingl y wide and thick, the only part of the mitt which actually moves or has a hinge action under influence of the pressure exerted by the .45 ball on the, back-stop, is the narrow thumb por- tion. Moreover, as the padded portion of the mitt in which the user's fingers are positioned is many times the width and weight of the thumb portion, the mitt, wheri opened up to receive a 50 b-ill, is lop- sided, or considerably heavier on one side than on the other. In fact, there is an in- herent tendency for the mitt to turn on the user's hand, due to the eccentricity of the rela- tively wide and heavy finger portion relatively 5:) catching a ball, this tendency is increased, due to the movement or hinging action of only one portion of the mitt, to wit, the thumb portion. In order to overcome the above-mentioned objectionable features of baseball mitts of conventional coristruction, I have devised a mitt which is composed of a padded thumb portion and a padded finger portion of somewhat near the same size and weight, and a ball back-stop between said two portions composed of a central backstop of substantial width, whose opposite side ed.aes or vertical edges are joined or -connected by thongs, strands, lacings, or any other suitable flexible, skeleton-like structures to said finger portion and thumb portion. The central member of said back-stop is constructed so as to constitute an integral portion of the front and back facing pieces of the mitt, and it is preferably made of @approxiniately the same length as the thumb and finger portions. It is. padded in substantially the same manner as the palm portion of the mitt, and virtually constitutes an integral extension of the palm portion that projects upwardly from the same. It may be made of a width only slightly less than the thumb and finger portions. The preferable way of employing the mitt, is to insert the thumb in the thumb portion and insert all of the fingers in the flnger portion, thus causing the intermediate back-stop member to be arranged at the center of the crotch bety@een the thumb and index finger. When the mitt is in use, the pressure exerted by a caught ball on the central member of the back-stop causes both the finger portion and the thumb portion to move inwardly, or towards each other, due, of course, to the pull exerted on said thumb and finger portions by the strands, thongs, lacing, or equiva3ent means attached to said portions @and to the opposite side edges of the central member of the back-stop. The method of attaching the thongs, lacings or strands to the central back-sto member and to the , p thumb and finger portions which flank said member is immaterial, but it is preferable to use thongs, strands, or lacings that can be adjusted so as to change the relative position and angle of the three padded parts of the mitt, to wit, the central back-stop member and the thumb and finger portions located at the opposite sides of same, for example, by tightening said thongs, strands, or lacings, the terminal ends of the thumb and finger portions will be drawn inwardly towards the central back-stop member, and thus in effect contract the ball pocket, or


2 2,281,315 Impart more overhang to the top side Porti6a of the pocket. Notwithstanding the fact that the flnger portion of the raitt Is spaced relativelk far away from the thumb portion, the -back-stop will conform accurately to the curvature of the ball, because the central member of the backstop Is of substantial width and Is curved forwardly slightly in such a way that It fohows the curvature of the palm portion of the niitt with which it is integrally joined. Figure 1 of the drawing is a perspective view of a baseball niitt constructed in amordance With my invention, looking at the front side of the mitt. Figure 2 is a perspective view of said mitt, looking sideways at same, and showing how the central back-stop member curves forwardly; and Figure 3 is a perspective view, illustrating another way of combining the thongs, lacings, or strands with the three padded parts of the mitt which said strands join together. In the drawing the reference character A designates the thumb portion of a basebar mitt that is adapted to receive the user's thumb, and B designates a finger portion, constructed in sucbt a way that all of the user's fingers can be inserted in same, said thumb and finger portions being integrary connected vn'th the palm portion C of the mitt. The gap between the thumb portion A and finger portion B is bridged by a ballback-stop of novel construction that comprises a central back-stop member D arranged between said finger portion and thumb portion, as shown in Fligure 1, and strands, lacings, tbongs, or any other suitable flexible, skeleton-like structures E attached to said central member D and to the thumb and :ftnger portions A and B that flank the same. The front side of the mitt is formed by a facing piece made of leather or equivalent material, anci the back side of the mitt is formed by a back facing piece made of leather or equivalent flexible material. These two front and back facing pieces are of substantiauy the sanie shape or outline and the marginal edges of the same are joined together in any suitable way so aS tO produce three substantiary hollow parts A, B and D that communicate with the interior of the hollow central portion of the mitt inside of which the palm and back of the user's hand is Positioned. The palm portion C, the thumb and finger portions A and B, rbspectively, and the backstop member D are padded, but the padding material is arranged on the interior of the shell formed by the front and back facing pieces of the mitt, and is disposed so as to produce a strea Mlined mitt that i@g accurately balanced on the user's hand, and wliieh comprises three separated, padded Parts A, B and D, that are capable of flexing or moving freely relatively to each other, as hereinafter explained, in the operation ol@ catching a ball. The width of the said three elements A, B and D may vary, but in most instances the finger portion B will be made only a trifle wider than the thumb portion A and the central back-stop member D will be made only 06 trifle narrower than the thumb portion A. Thus, it will be seen that my improved mitt comprises three padded parts of about the same general size or dimensions, arranged with the back-stop member D disposed at approximately the center Of the mitt between the thumb and finger portions, in a position where said back-stop member virtually forms a continuation or extension of the palm portion C of the mitt. Vtrhen the mitt is in use, the force or pressure exerted by a caught baU on the central bae'xstop member D causes both the thumb portion and finger portion to be drawn inwardly or towards each other, into snug engagement with the baU, thereby effectively retaining the ball In the mitt, the inward movement of the thumb and :ftnger portions A and B, respectively, being effected, of course, by the puU exerted on same by the thongs or equivalent raeans E when the 10 ball strikes the central member D of the backstop. When a mitt of the construction above described is mounted on the user's hand, it is quite accurately balanced, because the central back- 15 stop member D Is disposed centrally of the crotch between the thumb and index finger, in an upright position where it virtuauy constitutes a forwardly-curved, extension piece of the palm portion of the mitt that overhangs a caught ball 20 and counteracts the tendency of the bau to travel upwardly, out of the pocket formed by the three padded sections A, B and D of the mitt, the padded thumb portion and Mwer portion that flank the central back-stop member D being of ,5 such relative size thrt there is no tendency for one to overbalance the other. Such a mitt is also less cumbersome and more convenient to use, as there is no excess material in the finger portion B of the mitt. It wiR thus be seen that 30 by dividing the padded area of the mitt into three symmetrically-disposed sections of more or less the same general size, I have produced a mitt that is not bulky or unwieldly, and wliich has a better balance on the user's hand than baseball 3,-, mitts of conventional construction. Such a mitt is also more efficient than mitts of conventional design, because the finger portion and the thumb portiori both pivot or move inwardly towards each dther under the influence of the pressure 40 exerted by the ball on the back-stop member D, thereby tending to hold the ball in the palm portion at the center of the mitt in a more effective manner than is possible in a mitt having only one hinged or movable padded portion, to wit, a rela- 4,,) tively narrow thumb portion that moves inwardly towards a relatively wide and stiff flnger Portion. StiR anotber very desirable characteristic or feature of iny improved mitt is that it is exceedingly flexible and does not have to be "broken rl( in" or molded by the user preparatory to putting the mitt into use. This, of course, results from the fact that the padded area of the mitt is divided into a central part flanked by two side parts, that in effect are hinged to said central Part, and which have a natural or inherent tendency to close over or around the baU when the pressure.of a caught ball is exerted on said central part. AU the desirable features above mentioned are attained without substantially increasing the cost of the mitt, and without departing from the rules, regulations and requirements pertaining to baseball mitts. The mitt shown in ngures 1 and 2 is of the type in which the front and back facing pieces of the mitt are joined together by a lacing 1, inserted in eyelets 2 in said facing pieces. When the mitt is constructed in this manner, the thongs, strands, or lacings E of the ball back-stop may be intertwined with the loops of the lacing 711 1 at the opposed side edges of the thumb portion A and central back-stop member D, and at the OPPosed side edges of the finger portion B and the central back-stop member D, the ends of said thongs E adapted to be inserted through eye- 75 lets in the facing members and then tied to pro-


2,281,315 3 duce knots E', which hold said thongs In adjusted position. As previously explained, it Is immaterial how the thongs, strands, or lacings E are combined with the elements which they join to- gether, and in order to make this point clear, I ri have illustrated in Figure 3 a baseball mitt em- bodying my invention, wherein the thongs, strands, or lacings EIO that join the thumb and finger portions A and B to the central back-stop member D, are inserted in eyelets 3 in the op- 10 posed side edges of said portions and central member D. Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent Is: 1 5 A baseball mitt whose front and back sides are formed by facing pieces of flexible material, each of which is cut or shaped so as to produce a cen- ter portion having three projections or extensions separated fr6m each other by gaps, said facing pieces being arranged in superimposed or-substantially parallel relation and the corresponding Parts of said pieces having their marginal edges connected together so as to produce a flexible shell comprising a palm portion, a hollow thumb portion, a hollow finger portion designed to receive all of the fingers of the user's hand, and a back-stop portion arranged intermediate said thumb and finger porti6ns and separated from same by gaps, padding material on the interior of said shell for padding the respective portions of same, and flexible, skeleton-like structures for bridging the gaps between the central ba- @k-stop portion and the thumb and finger portions and connecting to same for causing the thumb and fingers of the user's hand to be drawn inwardly towards each other by the force or impact of a caught ball on said back-stop p6rtion. HARRY B. LATINA.

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