non-existent words

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Senior Member
From Pecorino Plays Ball by Alan Madison:
"The white pill of a ball hopped to one of the gum-burbling boys, who scooped it,
then scorched it to the other gum burbler, who scatched it right up."

I looked up scorch and scatch on the Internet and found no results related to baseball games. (I don't misspell them. They are spelled like these in the book.)
I feel the words are used for rhyming with scoop.
What are their meanings here?
Thank you.
  • Wandering JJ

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's a game like catch, where a ball is thrown from one person and caught by another. Instead of catching the ball (like a tennis ball) with bare hands, the players have a Velcro pad in their hand to which the ball sticks. If you Google "scatch game" you should see some pictures.

    From the context, I would guess that 'scorched' means 'threw at speed' and 'scatched' means 'caught'.

    Best of luck.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    My best guess is the third word is simply a typo for "snatched". If that's true, all the words are normal words that could be used to talk about a baseball game.

    Balls get scooped up in the infield, thrown very hard (scorched) to first base and are then caught by the first baseman, sometimes on the fly but sometimes with a bounce on the way. Under those circumstances, he would snatch up the ball.

    Umpire Ken Burkhart promptly called a fair ball and found himself caught in the middle of a play when C Elrod Hendricks snatched up the ball and spun around in an attempt to tag out Carbo who was speeding home.

    The real mystery question is what is a gum burbler?
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