Chuck Li - Inducted as a Veteran into the CLHOF
Born in Hong Kong, Chuck Li emigrated to Canada when he was seven years of age. His parents sent him to Canada to live with his grandparents in Cornwall, Ontario. Chuck was raised by his grandparents who gave him their surname of "Chin". As a consequence, Chuck's lacrosse career and scoring feats are found under the names of Chuck Chin and Chuck Li.
Chuck Chin began his lacrosse career at age 11 in Cornwall, Ontario. Although small in stature, he was known for his ability to play well under pressure. His major strengths included being a top-notch face-off player, a team leader and gifted play-maker. Chuck played both Junior and Senior level lacrosse as a teenager. Beginning at the age of 16, he was the team captain of the 1964, 1965, 1966 Cornwall Wildcats (leading the Junior “B” league in scoring in 1964 and was a top five scorer in the Quebec Senior League in 1965). The 1966 team won the Ontario Junior “B” championship losing in the Canadian championship to New Westminster. During this period, Chuck Li was awarded the Cornwall Sportsman of the Year for Lacrosse in 1964, 1966, 1969.
Chuck Chin - Cornwall Wildcat (1964-1966)
By 1968 Chuck had joined the legendary Oshawa Green Gaels. It was at this time; Chuck adopted the last name ”Li” thus ending the lacrosse career of Chuck Chin. Chuck Li played on two Minto Cup championship teams with the Oshawa Junior "A" team in 1968 and 1969. In 1969, he was the leading scorer for the team and 2nd in league scoring. Among his numerous accomplishments, Chuck received the OLA award for Top Ability and Sportsmanship.
Chuck Li’s Senior “A” lacrosse career saw him play for Brooklin (1970 – 1971) and Windsor (1972). He was picked up by the Peterborough Lakers for the Mann Cup in 1970. He was an OLA - MSL first team all-star in 1971
Chuck’s career saw him playing with National Lacrosse Association Detroit team Detroit (1968) and National Lacrosse League teams Toronto Tomahawks (1974) and the Boston Bolts (1975). Chuck was so highly regarded; he was a first round draft choice of the Toronto Tomahawks.
Chuck Li as a Toronto Tomahawk in the NLL 1974
Chuck Li’s career scoring totals combining Junior “A”, Junior “B”, Senior “A” and Senior “B” and pro lacrosse reveal 291 games played, 403 goals scored, along with 604 assists for a total of 1007 total points. He also accumulated 381 penalty minutes.
The Green Gaels team that Chuck Li played upon was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2000 and into the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. On a personal basis, Chuck Li has been inducted into the Cornwall Sports Hall of Fame (2000) and Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame (2013).
Chuck Li - Multiple Hall of Famer
When hearing the news of his induction into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Chuck Li responded, “When I first received the news, when I heard the words, it took a few seconds to sink in and then it was a great feeling. I had felt some doubt in my mind. Afterwards I was distracted all day as I absorbed the fact that I am was actually in the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. I am grateful and thank those many team mates and coaches who helped me along the way”.
If you have ever had the opportunity to meet Chuck Li, you will find him to be a gracious and humble person. Like so many of the truly greats that have blessed fans with their play over the years, Chuck Li is the type of team-mate you would relish having. Certainly, he is deserving of joining the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2021.
(Rad Joseph is a writer for Major Series Lacrosse and he wrote this profile on Chuck Li)