Team Rolling Dice

     It was approximately the summer of 1973 when Louis “Butch” Whiters and Richard “Bro” Mason were sitting on a porch near 58th and Ada discussing how the neighborhood kids had nothing constructive to do because there were no health centers of recreational facilities available. So they decided to help the neighborhood kids by forming softball teams that would compete against each other. Later they would play teams from other blocks. This simple idea grew became so successful that they joined leagues at Sherman and Ogden Parks. At first they lost a lot of games because they weren’t used to the high level of competition. Rather than give up (and as the oldest siblings in their families), they followed the pattern that all successful teams follow – they recruited better players from the neighborhood. Success followed and Rolling Dice built a strong team bond and family-like atmosphere. The next step was to find sponsorships. Most teams head to the local tavern or lounge and convince the owner to pick up the tab for uniforms and registration fees. But the members of Rolling Dice were too young to get a lounge sponsorship, so they had parties and raffles with team members and family friends at banquet halls to raise money. They also received a sponsorship from Alderman Shirley Coleman as an honorarium for their participation in the local backto- school parade. With uniforms and tournaments fees paid for, they developed into a team to be reckoned with. They weren’t always successful but always gave the opposing team a tough fight. After ten years of playing, Louis Whiters stepped away to devote more time to his family and job, so Richard Mason took over a continued the strong legacy they had started together. In 1981 Rolling Dice competed in seven leagues and played every day. That year they won championships at 75th and Jeffrey, at Dawes Park, and at Washington Park. In 1993 they won the Blue Island league by defeating the Villains and the Washington Park league by defeating the Alpha Giants. In 2000 and 2001 they took second at Washington Park. In 2004 they won the titles at Blue Island and Washington Park. That same year they came in second in the Black Nationals in Wisconsin. In 2006 and 2007 they were cochampions at Blue Island and were co-champions at Rainey Park in 2006. In 2009 they were co-champions of the Fall League at Garfield Park. Throughout their history, Rolling Dice has played at many parks throughout Chicago and the suburbs. And they always played with that never-say-die attitude ingrained in them from the very beginning of the team by Lois Whites and Richard Mason.