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Wacky Patents Wednesday: The Baseball Edition

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US6125997: Baseball cap travel case

US6125997: Baseball cap travel case

Last week we covered some wacky patents related to ice cream, one of summer’s finest treats, so let’s keep the seasonal theme going and explore some baseball-related inventions.

Before we get to the stranger patents in the bunch, though, it’s worth noting that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has actually taken time out of its busy schedule to recognize “patents and trademarks relative to baseball.”

According to its estimates, there are thousands, including a patent “on a way to improve a batter’s swing (patent #6,306,050); a swing speed indicator (patent #6,173,610) that measures the batter’s swing using a digital readout that can be slipped onto any bat; [and] a baseball trainer, which helps pitchers practice by indicating a “strike” or “ball” as well as the speed of the pitch by using a microcomputer (patent # 5,566,964).”

But now let’s turn to the wackier variety.

First up we have the baseball cap travel case. This is exactly what it sounds like — a case specially designed to keep the structural integrity of your baseball hats safe during travels:

A hat travel case including an elongated container body defining a main body portion, the back plate portion, the bill portion and a first enclosed space therein. The main body portion has a main body chamber therein and dimensioned to receive a plurality of billed hats arranged in a shingled array. The billed portion having a bill chamber therein and dimensioned to receive the bill portion of a billed hat. The back plate portion is pivotally connected to the main body portion and allows access to the interior of the travel case so that the plurality of billed hats can be inserted therein. The back plate portion further includes a form preserving means such as a reversed dome attached thereto. The form preserving means secures the plurality of the billed hats and ensures that their shape is maintained.

US 2007/0064413 A1: Electroluminescent wire light source on a baseball cap

US 2007/0064413 A1: Electroluminescent wire light source on a baseball cap

For serious baseball cap owners only, I imagine.

Next up is the “Electroluminescent wire light source on a baseball cap.” Say that five times fast.

The description of this item is as follows: “A baseball cap has an electroluminescent wire light source mounted on an exterior surface as an illuminated display pattern.”

Great for night games!

And for what it’s worth, this type of baseball cap would almost certainly need to be transported in a special travel case, so maybe that first one wasn’t so wacky after all.

US6302813: Noise making novelty baseball bat

US6302813: Noise making novelty baseball bat

Finally, rounding out the order, we have the noise-making novelty baseball bat. Has anyone seen this in action by chance?

This “souvenir baseball bat is approximately one-third the size of an actual baseball bat in length and dimension and includes a hollowed out portion that is filled with beans, beads, buckshot or the like which causes the souvenir bat to rattle when waved or shaken.”

Now wouldn’t it be cool if someone would invent a way for the Johnny Macaroni ice cream push-pop thing from last week to be activated by shaking a noisy baseball at it?

What, too wacky?

More wacky patents next week, so stay tuned! In the meantime, keep celebrating innovation!

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August 10th, 2011 at 10:03 am