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Obit: Nintendo pioneer saved M’s baseball in Seattle

FILE - In this Friday, June 12, 1992 file photo, Hiroshi Yamauchi, then-president of Japan's Nintendo Co., answers questions during a news conference after he won the final approval to buy the Seattle Mariners at the company's head office in Kyoto, western Japan. Yamauchi, who ran Nintendo for more than 50 years and led the company's transition from traditional playing-card maker to video game giant, has died of pneumonia, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2013. He was 85. Photo: Associated Press/AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara/File

Obit: Nintendo pioneer saved M’s baseball in Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) — Nintendo video game pioneer Hiroshi Yamauchi is remembered in Seattle for saving the Mariners baseball team.

There was talk of the team moving to Florida in 1992 when then-Sen. Slade Gorton tried to find local owners and contacted Nintendo of America, in the suburb of Redmond.

Gorton says Yamauchi purchased the team as a civic gesture because Nintendo had done well in the area and he felt an obligation to the community.

Yamauchi never watched his baseball team play in person. In 2004, he transferred his majority shares to Nintendo of America.

The Mariners issued a statement on his death saying his goodwill gesture is legendary and Yamauchi also will be remembered for his role in moving forward the opportunity for Japanese players to play in the United States.

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