ATLANTA -- Phillies rookies Rhys Hoskins, Nick Williams, J.P. Crawford and others hopped on the team bus Friday night at SunTrust Park still in full uniform.Except these uniforms included black "T-Birds" jackets, black wigs, white T-shirts and jeans.Phillies veterans Cameron Rupp, Freddy Galvis, Clay Buchholz and Andres Blanco had any
ATLANTA -- Phillies rookies Rhys Hoskins, Nick Williams, J.P. Crawford and others hopped on the team bus Friday night at SunTrust Park still in full uniform.
Except these uniforms included black "T-Birds" jackets, black wigs, white T-shirts and jeans.
Phillies veterans Cameron Rupp, Freddy Galvis, Clay Buchholz and Andres Blanco had any player on the roster with less than a year's service time entering the season (sorry Tommy Joseph, who got called up in May 2016) dress like John Travolta's character Danny from the famous musical "Grease" after the game. The players then danced a fully choreographed version of "Greased Lightning" -- which they practiced in the visiting clubhouse's weight room at SunTrust Park beforehand -- in the hotel restaurant in front of members of the Phillies' traveling party and more than a few unsuspecting patrons.
The group performed any time the song played the rest of the night.
Silly? Absolutely. But perhaps it served another purpose, too.
"You always hear about team chemistry," Hoskins said. "I think stuff like that let's you get to know guys on a different level, when you're not at the field. You just become more personable with people. The better relationships you have, there's a different level of playing for each other. And I think that's usually a sign of a good team."
"It was pretty cool," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "They were into it."
Hoskins proved to be the inspiration for the Grease-themed night because fans have used the nickname "Rhys Lightning" on social media. The Phillies even had a "Rhys Lightning" ticket bundle last weekend at Citizens Bank Park, which included a T-shirt.
The jury is still out on Rhys Lightning, but at the very least it has helped fans learn how to pronounce Hoskins' first name. (He often hears "Rise" instead of "Reese.") And, of course, it gave the club a night of entertainment during its final road trip of the season.
"It really makes you feel like you've got your callup to the big leagues," Rupp said. "You always hear about guys dressing up other guys. It's not making fun of the other guys. It's a tradition. We just wanted to keep it going.
"And it's not just a rookie party. It's more of a celebration for the entire year. Of course, we're not going to the postseason and can't experience that, but we've got a group of guys that have come up and we can build around. They could definitely take us to the next level."
Said Hoskins: "This game is so hard, so it's fun doing something like that. You kind of get to let loose and just have fun and be yourself."
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.