‘Southern Voices’ is a reader-submitted platform for stories from the heart. Today’s submission comes from Nashville’s Maggie Corbin, a baseball fan who also happens to be the wife of Vanderbilt’s head baseball coach, Tim Corbin. If you have a story to tell, see our guidelines for submission here.

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Nashville has been through so much in the past few months. From the deadly tornado in March to battling COVID-19 and everything in between, it has been a tough 2020. I wanted to do my part in trying to make a positive impact in the community, so I came up with the idea to recognize our local heroes.

One morning, my husband Tim and I came up with the idea for the “Hero Starting Lineup – a way for us to turn our love for baseball cards into a message of hope. The night before, a good friend of ours, a doctor at Vanderbilt, sent an email asking Tim and me for help in lifting the spirits of the health care workers. His exact words were ‘send inspiration to those health care workers on the front lines and keep it coming, be relentless.’ I must have been thinking about it in my sleep because when I woke up, I immediately told Tim about it.

Maggie and Tim Corbin | Image: Submitted

Our idea was to create Topps-style baseball trading cards recognizing people fighting on the front lines to keep Nashville safe — whether that be from COVID-19 or the treacherous storms that have impacted thousands of Nashvillians over the past few months. This is a “lineup” of heroes who are in mid-season of competing against a vicious opponent. Our goal was to do something to boost morale and let the community know who the people are who are fighting for us right now.

Every day, Tim releases a new card on his Twitter account. These healthcare professionals are the actual players right now – they are saving our lives. Instead of heroes on the field, it’s heroes in the hospital. We are the observers, the “fans” – and it’s our job to root them on and thank them graciously for their selfless work.

Here is an example of the Topps-style baseball card that Melissa and Tim Corbin created to honor healthcare heroes. Pictured is the Mt. Juliet Walk-In Clinic team, which operates a COVID assessment and testing site in Mt. Juliet.

Jon Andereck is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Because of this initiative, I was recognized by the Nashville Stars as their first “Star of the Month,” which is someone who is honored monthly for making a difference in the community. Nashville Stars is the name of the baseball team that will hopefully be brought to town by the Music City Baseball initiative, a group that is working to bring Major League Baseball to Nashville.

To nominate someone to the Hero Starting Lineup (with the focus spotlighting health care professionals), email a picture with their name, title, hospital, and if they have children to [email protected]. And if you want to nominate someone to be the Nashville Star’s Star of the Month, click HERE.

Maggie Corbin was a three-time All American tennis player at the College of Charleston, then went on to get her MBA at Jacksonville University. She has been a teacher, a coach, and a mentor, but her favorite role is that of mom to two adult daughters and hundreds of Vanderbilt baseball players. She and her husband, Tim, live in Nashville.

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