Virginia Baseball Supporter, and Stadium’s Namesake, Dies at 90

Portrait of Leslie B. Disharoon, center, with UVA Director of Athletics Carla Williams, left, and Cavalier baseball coach Brian O’Connor

Leslie B. Disharoon, center, with UVA Director of Athletics Carla Williams, left, and Cavalier baseball coach Brian O’Connor, was not a UVA alumnus, but became a major supporter of UVA athletics after retiring. (UVA Athletics photo)

April 20, 2023

Leslie B. Disharoon, 90, a longtime supporter of the University of Virginia baseball program, died Wednesday.

Disharoon Park is named in honor of Leslie and his late wife, Ann Merriweather Disharoon.

“The entire Virginia baseball family is deeply saddened by the passing of my dear friend, Les Disharoon,” UVA head baseball coach Brian O’Connor said in a statement. “I will miss my weekly conversations with him, and I’ll always be grateful to the mentorship and loyalty he showed me from the beginning of my time at UVA.

“I cannot overstate his importance in helping to build and grow our baseball program. The number of people – not only those affiliated with our program – who benefited from his generosity is immeasurable. He truly is the godfather of Virginia baseball. I will miss his friendship, his leadership and presence at the ballpark. I’m comforted in the fact that he is reunited with Ann and their legacy in this program’s history will stand the test of time.”

Disharoon retired to the Charlottesville area in the late 1990s with his wife following a successful business career. Leslie Disharoon became an active supporter of UVA athletics, but baseball interested him the most. He became a leading voice and advocate for the baseball program, helping to advance many initiatives that can still be seen in the stadium today. His support was unwavering, and he could be found in his suite for nearly every Cavalier home baseball game.

Prior to his arrival in Charlottesville, Disharoon served on the board of directors for the Baltimore Orioles for 20 years and was integral in securing approval for the creation of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He is also one of the founders Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland, designed by Tom Fazio and home to a number of professional tournaments, including the 2021 BMW Championship and the 2017 Constellation Senior Players Championship. It also was the site of the 2005 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship and the 2009 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship.

Disharoon earned his bachelor’s degree from Brown University and an MBA from Columbia University. He retired in 1988 as chairman, president and CEO of Monumental Corporation, a life insurance company, where was employed from 1977 to 1988. From 1960 to 1977, he moved up the ranks in the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company, where eventually he served as a senior vice president.

His affinity for academics and education led him to serve on managing boards at institutions such as Johns Hopkins University, Goucher College, Garrison Forest School, Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and UVA, where he was a member of the Virginia Athletics Foundation’s Board of Trustees.