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‘Dad, we did it!’ How Chicago’s Mike Rizzo took the family business National and won it all

WASHINGTON — Ask Mike Rizzo’s first manager in professional baseball what he remembers about the young infielder from Chicago, and it’s the fight.

Specifically, it’s the fists-flying melee in Rizzo’s first home game as a pro and Joe Maddon’s first as a rookie-ball manager in the Angels’ farm system in 1982.

‘‘Rizz started a tremendous fight that we had versus the Bend, Oregon, Phillies,’’ said Maddon, the former Cubs manager.

‘‘No, I did not start it,’’ Rizzo said. ‘‘But I finished it.’’

What nobody disputes is that this was no ordinary shove-a-little-and-backpedal baseball fight. Or that Rizzo was in the middle of the flurry of punches and had the Bend catcher pinned against the backstop when he eventually was pulled from the brawl.