David Lill
Baseball, Soccer, Basketball
Inducted in 2004
Dave was a prominent three-sport athlete at Suffield High School from 1957 to 1961. A window to his future prowess occurred in the mid-1950’s when David played Little League baseball for the Rotary team. It was a four-team, town-wide league at the time with Dave playing a pivotal role in Rotary winning back-to-back championships in 1954 and 1955. In 1955, he set a remarkable record of hitting 18 home runs in an 18 game schedule.

While at Suffield High, Dave played varsity soccer for three years, basketball for two years, and baseball for four years. His speed, daring, and determination made him an exceptional goal-scorer. During his tenure, Suffield won its first ever State Championship in 1958 when they were declared Co-State Champions after tying Hale-Ray 1-1. They lost in the semi-finals in 1959 and won the State Championship outright in 1960, beating Hale-Ray (and ending their 56 game unbeaten streak). David scored 22 goals that season including the only goal in the title game. Over his three year career, SHS won 43 games, tied 8, and lost but 2!
While not a natural basketball talent, Dave nonetheless was a starting guard on Suffield’s 1960 State Championship team. His speed, defense and intelligence made him a valuable contributor (and the only non-senior starter) on that 24-1 quintet. He won a crucial jump ball with the score tied in the championship game that enabled SHS to maintain control of the ball and convert the winning basket at the buzzer.

Dave really shined on the baseball field where he played center field and consistently led the team in home runs and runs-batted-in. The consummate team player, when a medical problem sidelined him his junior year, he spent the season coaching third base to remain an integral part of the team. In his senior year, he led the team to one of SHS’s best baseball records of 11 wins and 5 losses, while batting .450 (mostly on extra base hits). In his first two years he hit over .400. When a Red Sox scout came to see him play, he hit a single, triple and home run. Against a very strong Berlin High team (and future major league pitcher Gary Waslewski), David also had a single, triple and home run.

Dave was the 1961 Meade Alcorn Outstanding Athlete and, following high school, he went on to play baseball at the University of Hartford where he continued his power hitting with numerous home runs and a batting average of .332. He also played in the semi-pro Hartford Twilight League for three years and was among the league leaders in hitting as well as a League All Star. Throughout his athletic career in both high school and college, Dave consistently made the honor roll and dean’s list and was a member of the SHS National Honor Society.