The Nats new hitting coach is Rick Schu. Turns out he and F.P. Santangelo — who both went to Sacramento City College — have quite a history. The Ottawa Citizen even reported in 1996 that the Expos organization had signed Schu on Santangelo’s recommendation.

Here’s a passage from a story that ran in May of 1996 in the Montreal Gazette:

You could say Rick Schu has been around the game for a while. He still gets Christmas cards from Cal Ripken, Jr., – he is one of Ripken’s 31 keystone partners since his consecutive-game streak began – and can talk about how he and his wife, Keri, practiced earthquake evacuation while living on the fifth floor of a high-rise in Japan while he was with the Nippon Ham Fighters. Never mind how he played in “the first indoor game at the Big O, I think,” while a member of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1987.

And now he can talk about playing for a Canadian-based team – if not yet a Canadian-based major-league team.

“It’s true what people say about Canadians, being friendly and all,” said the 34-year-old Ottawa Lynx infielder, taking time out from a chat with former teammate F.P. Santangelo….

“F.P. told me when I got here that if you do well at Ottawa, there’s a good chance Felipe will end up using you at some point.” said Schu.

And here’s a story in the South Bend Tribune in 1998 about Schu quitting dip:

Dip is everywhere in baseball,” Schu said. “I had a can-a-day habit. The players know what I’m going through. They come up to me and talk to me about it. I recommend to them that they get off. It’s bad news.

“What got me to quit was I went to F.P. Santangelo’s house,” Schu said. “We’d always get together in the morning and have coffee and dip before we’d go lift weights. We’re watching TV, and what really hit home was there was a guy being interviewed. He had cancer of the mouth from chew. Then they interviewed his kid and he talked about it.

“That’s why I quit,” Schu said. “I wanted to be alive and see my children grow up.”

An earlier story in the Citizen credited workouts in Schu’s garage for helping Santangelo add 12 pounds of muscle to his frame.

Also, they took the above photo together in 2012.