Dick Cooper

The world of 16” softball received a great player and talented organizer in 1938 when Dick Cooper started playing 16” at Hayt Playground, Clark and Granville in Chicago. Dick started with Hawks at Hayt and then played with the Aces at Ace Laundry Company Field. Service in World War II from 1943- 46 put a halt on Dick’s career due to a lack of players overseas who knew the of 16” softball. Instead Dick played 12” “Kitten Ball” for the Army Engineers in New Guinea. Once the war ended, Dick played in Chicago leagues from 1947-1958 when he moved to the suburbs. There he played from 1958 to 1976 in a highly competitive church league for Meadows Baptist Church in Rolling Meadows. This team, which played in Rolling Meadows and Arlington – Heights, allowed Dick to manage and play with his three sons and his son-in-law and it became the nucleus of the team that later moved to Mt. Prospect in 1984. During the 1970s Dick also played for A.G. Becker and Company in the Grant Park Broker’s League on a team managed by Karl Dotzel. During the 1980s and 90s Dick Cooper’s teams put together an admirable series of accomplishments. Cooper’s Sporting Goods placed 2nd in the Nationals in 1986; the Meadows won the Mt. Prospect Classic League in 1986 and 1987 (winning 15 and 19 consecutive games respectively, a record for the number of consecutive victories in the Classic League.) Cooper returned to managing in 1992 when his March Manufacturing won the C1assic League Championship and placed 2nd in the ASA Nationals in 1992 and ‘93. In 1994 Dick Cooper was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Onesti’s Softball City. Additionally, winning the Terry Moran Memorial Tournaments in 1995 and 1997 proved to be a fitting climax to a fulfilling softball career. Dick Cooper will best be remembered by his players as a devoted leader whose unique style included loyalty to his players first and the pressure of winning second. Since deceased.