Year Inducted: 2000
Chuck Li developed his skills in the Cornwall Minor Lacrosse Association.
At the age of 15, he joined the Cornwall Wildcats of the Eastern Ontario Junior Lacrosse League. The Wildcats won the Ontario Junior “B” Lacrosse Championship in 1966, and lost the Canadian Championship to New Westminster, B.C. in the final and deciding game. Chuck was team captain and leading scorer.
Chuck was not out of place playing with the “big boys.” In 1965, he was a member of the Wildcat team which played in the powerful Quebec Senior Lacrosse League, a league which included one of Canada’s all-time lacrosse greats, John Ferguson, and then a member of the Montreal Canadiens.
Unfortunately, in mid-season, with the young but talented Wildcats leading the standings, the Canadian Lacrosse Association declared the Quebec League an outlaw league after it refused to stop signing players from the B.C. Lacrosse Association.
Rather than have its junior players suspended for life for playing in an outlaw league, the Wildcats withdrew. At the time, Chuck was in the top 10 in league scoring. After the 1967 season, Chuck was signed by the legendary Jim Bishop, coach and general manager of the Oshawa Green Gaels of the Ontario Junior “A” Lacrosse League. Chuck played the 1968 and 1969 seasons with the Green Gaels, winning the Canadian Junior Championship both seasons. In the 1969 season, Chuck led the Gaels in scoring and was the team’s Most Valuable Player.
Chuck graduated to Brooklin Redmen of the Ontario Senior “A” Lacrosse League and led the team in scoring. In 1974, the professional National Lacrosse League was formed. Jim Bishop was coach and GM of the Toronto Tomahawks and made Chuck their first round draft pick, sixth overall. Chuck scored 108 points in his first season, including 38 goals. He led the league in shooting percentage, scoring on 42.2% of his shots. He did this while playing in 34 of the team’s 40 games. He also played with pro teams in Windsor and Boston.
Because of injuries and work demands, Chuck retired at the age of 27.
He now lives in Oshawa.