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Hiroshi Yamauchi, Mariners majority owner, dies at 85
From staff reports:
Hiroshi Yamauchi, the man who ran Nintendo from 1949 to 2002, and also had been the majority owner of the Seattle Mariners since 1992, died Sept. 19 at age 85.
In both spheres, Yamauchi was the man in charge when both Nintendo itself and the Mariners underwent drastic changes and became world-known brands.
For King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, Yamauchi's ownership of the Mariners ensured that generations of Mariners fans got to experience some of the most unforgettable moments in recent baseball history.
"When you think of Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson and other Seattle Mariners, remember that we would not have those memories without Hiroshi Yamauchi's commitment to keep baseball in Seattle," von Reichbauer said in a prepared release. "(He) has benefited generations of Pacific Northwest families by his generous purchase of the Mariners in 1992…Thousands of young boys and girls are playing today on Little League fields funded by the Mariners."
"The Seattle Mariners are here today because Hiroshi Yamauchi was willing to step up and save baseball in Seattle when others would not," von Reichbauer added.
Yamauchi's ownership of the Mariners was during what might be rightly called the team's heyday at this point, with the "miracle" season of 1995 and subsequent trips to the playoffs throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s — including the record-tying 116-win team in 2001.
Many credit him with making the Mariners a truly international brand, feeling that it was Nintendo, and Yamauchi's presence in ownership, that lured Ichiro Suzuki to the Mariners in the early 2000s.
Yamauchi was also in charge of Nintendo when it became a major player in the video game market, overseeing the introduction of nearly all of the company's major systems, including the original Nintendo Entertainment System, the Super Nintendo, the Nintendo 64, the various incarnations of the Gameboy, and the company's GameCube system. He is survived by two daughters and one son.