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NLDS 2017: Chicago Cubs’ Joe Maddon on the legendary playing days of Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo...

Joe Maddon and Mike Rizzo have history... but it’s the good type of history, that comes with great stories...

St. Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals - Game Four Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Washington Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo brought up his Chicago roots in an interview with 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies last Wednesday, discussing the desire to knock his hometown Cubs out of the Postseason in their NLDS matchup, which gets underway on Friday night in the nation’s capital.

“I’m really looking forward to this one,” Rizzo said. “I grew up on Waveland Avenue in Chicago my whole life. It would be great to knock these guys out of the playoffs.

“Joe Maddon was my minor league manager way back in the day, so we go way back together, and looking forward to knocking these guys off. It would be fun.”

Rizzo, who has talked before about the numbers he put up in the minors pointing to a career in the front office, signed with the California Angels in 22nd Round of the 1982 Draft.

Maddon, who managed Rizzo’s first minor league team, talked about their shared history as well, discussing how he knew Rizzo’s dad, Phil Rizzo, before he met the current Nats’ GM in a press conference with reporters in advance of the upcoming series.

MLB: Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Maddon, who managed Rizzo’s first minor league team, talked about their shared history as well, discussing how he knew Rizzo’s dad, Phil Rizzo, before he met the current Nats’ GM in a press conference with reporters in advance of the upcoming series.

He also shared some anecdotes from Rizzo’s playing days.

“I’m the manager in Salem ‘82 was it, right? He was on the ‘82 or ‘83 team, ‘82,” Maddon recounted.

“And Rizz started a tremendous fight that we had versus the Bend, Oregon Phillies.

“Play at the plate, ended up against the backstop, Rizz was right in the middle of the whole thing. That’s who he was. He was a gritty player.”

He’s also a gritty GM, who called Cole Hamels out as fake tough for throwing at Bryce Harper when Harp was a rookie, and one time went at the umpires in Citi Field over a blown call against the New York Mets. He also, less humorously, drafts aggressively.

“One day he played first base in Medford, Oregon,” Maddon continued, “and made a couple, three, four errors, and he was not a first baseman and I had to come to his defense after that game, so Rizz and I go way back.”

Rizzo put up a combined .247/.312/.329 line over three seasons in the Angels’ system before his playing days came to an end. As Maddon tells it, however, Rizzo’s grit and determination was the stuff of legend.

“There was also a really good urban legend about a player that was no longer heard from after Rizzo had been released in Spring Training,” Maddon joked, as quoted by Patrick Mooney of NBC Sports Chicago.

“The guy that was chosen in front of him was no longer to be found right after that.”

“So the next day, Rizzo was reinstated,” Maddon said. “So we’re trying to find him. If anybody knows where Dave Govea is living right now, please let us know.”

Govea did play just one minor league season after he was selected by the Angels in the 12th Round in 1982... according to Baseball-reference.com he’s fine. Maybe Rizzo scared him without hurting him.