Hiroshi Yamauchi, Mariners owner, dies at 85

Yamauchi HiroshiThe Seattle Mariners today issued the following statement regarding the passing of Mr. Hiroshi Yamauchi: The Seattle Mariners organization is deeply saddened by the passing today of Mr. Hiroshi Yamauchi. His leadership of Nintendo is legendary worldwide. His decision in 1992 to purchase the Mariners franchise and keep Major League Baseball in Seattle as a “gesture of goodwill to the citizens of the Pacific Northwest” is legendary in this region. Mr. Yamauchi will be remembered for his role in moving forward the opportunity for Japanese baseball players to play in the United States. He will forever be a significant figure in Mariners Baseball history.


Press Relase from TOKYO (AP) - Hiroshi Yamauchi, who ran Nintendo for more than 50 years and led the Japanese company's transition from traditional playing-card maker to video game giant, has died. He was 85. Kyoto-based Nintendo said Yamauchi, who owned the Seattle Mariners major league baseball club before selling it to Nintendo's U.S. unit in 2004, died Thursday of pneumonia at a hospital in central Japan.

Yamauchi was company president from 1949 to 2002 and engineered Nintendo's global growth, including developing the early Family Computer consoles and Game Boy portables.

Nintendo was founded in 1889 and made traditional playing cards before venturing into video games.

Yamauchi is survived by Katsuhito Yamauchi, his eldest son. The company declined to release other family details. Funeral services are scheduled for Sunday at Nintendo.

September 19, 2013