Joey’s Broken Wrist!

During the 1971-72 school year at Quinton, I had an 8th grade homeroom. Though I was the math teacher for 7th and 8th grade, I was also responsible for teaching my homeroom, Health, PE, careers and Art. We had a music teacher we shared with another school district or I would have had to teach that too.

One fine spring day, we went out for our PE class, which we had 3 times a week. Our PE time was shared with the other 8th grade homeroom (yes there were only two!) giving us a total of about 40-45 students and two teachers.

Usually, the class did some aerobic calisthenics and depending on weather  then played some game or another. On this particular day, the girls did not want to get all sweaty and the boys wanted to play softball so we decided to use the little league field that was adjacent to the school.

The game was going fine with one team dominating the other due to some poor team selection by the other teams captain. The girls were sitting on the bleachers reading magazines and chatting and not really paying any attention to the game.

The team being trounced was finally having a good inning at the plate and with no one out had a man on first and second. The batter set a ball into the gap and the runner on second scored easily. The third base coach sent the runner, Joey, who had been on first home. A throw from the outfield was cut off by the shortstop and relayed home. 

I was umpiring at home plate and I could see that the play would be close. The catcher, Dennis, was much bigger than Joey and he got the ball when Joey was two steps from the plate. Joey didn't slide as he should have ( after all, they were in school clothes ), and ran straight into Dennis. It was as if he had hit a brick wall and so, he fell straight back. 

Joey put his hands back to cushion his fall and I heard the snap as Joey began to cry in pain. Sure enough, his right wrist was broken. Since I was a member of the ambulance squad and NJ Voluntary EMT trained, I began triage by commandeering a magazine from one of the girls to use as a temporary splint. I wrapped it on Joey's wrist and told him to hold it in place with his other hand. 


I walked him to the nurse's office and he was no longer crying and actually handling himself very bravely. I bolstered his confidence by telling him how proud I was of how he as deporting himself and how we would get him help. 

As I walked into the nurse's office, Elaine Fowser, our nurse, said to me, “Well, it looks like we have two broken wrists, here"!  What an embarrassment, I had not even noticed that his left wrist was also broken and had even had him use that hand to keep the right wrist immobilized!

His mother was very gracious about the whole affair and the schools' insurance covered the incident. Everyone took it to be one of those accidents that boys seem to have growing up. 

Joey, who had not been one of the most popular kids, became a class hero for the way he took the hit and of course, he couldn't do written homework for four weeks which was a bonus. 

Davdan @ 2008-2018