The Phillies have hit a bit of a skid lately, dropping their last three games. Despite the recent slide, a heartwarming story came out this weekend, as the Phillies’ players paid tribute to Interim Manager Rob Thomson’s late father by wearing suits on their road trip.

Bryce Harper posted a picture to his Instagram of the entire roster dressed to the nines, with Rob Thomson at the center wearing a fedora. The stylish photo garnered attention from fans across the country, but many don’t know the touching backstory. 

Growing up in Canada, Rob Thomson was introduced to baseball by his father, Jack. The two went to Detroit Tigers games in the 1970’s in old Tiger Stadium, and a bond was formed. One day, they watched the players exit the stadium clad in suits and ties. “That’s what a big league ballplayer looks like, ” Jack Thomson told his son.  Young Rob took this to heart, and determined that if he ever made it to the major leagues, he would always travel in a suit. When he finally joined the Yankees’ big league coaching staff, he did just that.

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Rob Thomson always wears a suit when the team travels, and his players have noticed it. This past Sunday, Father’s Day, the Phillies surprised their skipper by emulating his attire. Staff ace Aaron Nola described the shock and excitement Thompson experienced, saying, “He had no idea. Somebody said he came out and asked why everybody looked so nice.”

After a rough couple of games this is a nice reminder that our favorite ballplayers are human beings too. No matter what happens on the field, they’ll always have a special connection with their skipper, and the tribute to Rob Thomson’s father shows that perfectly. 

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