Maggie Corbin’s silence said it all.
Shortly after she called her husband at 4 a.m. Sunday, she was at a loss for words. Tim Corbin immediately knew something was wrong.
“I said, ‘Do you need me?’ And Maggie said nothing,” the Vanderbilt baseball coach said on Monday night during his weekly call-in radio show. “I knew at that point ... I was going to go home. I wasn’t going to stay in Louisiana and worry about this.”
Corbin hopped on a plane back to Nashville and was at the side of his oldest step-daughter the rest of the day. Sitting next to Molly Blatt, 27, in the hospital, Corbin held her hand as they watched Vanderbilt rally and knock off No. 4 LSU in a series-deciding contest.
It was the first game he missed in 28 years of college coaching, but Corbin knew where he needed to be. On April 26, Molly underwent a mastectomy after she was diagnosed as a high risk for breast cancer.
“It was a preventive measure to begin with,” Corbin told a radio audience and small gathering at Corner Pub in Midtown on Monday. “I guess if there was analogy to sports we decided to blitz rather than play prevent defense.”
In the ensuing weeks, Molly suffered complications from the surgery, including MRSA staph infection, and underwent an emergency surgery last week.
Despite antibiotics, Molly still battled a fever and swollen lymph nodes. Prior to loading a bus to LSU last Wednesday, Maggie insisted to Corbin that she had everything under control and he didn’t need to stay.
By Sunday morning, though, Molly’s condition had worsened and she landed back in the hospital. By Monday she was back at home.
“She is in good spirits,” Corbin said. “She’s always had that half grin on her face, which allows everyone around her to stay really positive. You learn a lot about your kids, you really do. You think one thing and she’s this sweet child and then you get into a situation like this and she’s never wavered one time.
“Her body has not responded as positively but her mind has. For that, I’m very proud of her.”
Corbin isn’t planning on taking a leave of absence. He’ll be back at practice on Tuesday and on hand for the Commodores’ final regular-season series against Ole Miss, which starts Thursday at Hawkins Field.
Sunday, sophomore second baseman Tony Kemp said the victory was for his head coach and for Molly. When asked about the gesture on Monday night, Corbin sat speechless for a couple seconds as he choked back tears.
“What can you say?” Corbin said. “They are kids that take great pride in each other and coaches. That’s nice to hear. I certainly didn’t expect that. ... To see them smile [after the game]. I went back and forth on that tape to watch them celebrate.”