Originally posted on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 9/19/13
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, who had little interest in baseball, was approached to buy the Mariners, who may have had to move to Florida without a new backer. The acquisition made the Seattle club the first in the major leagues to have foreign ownership. 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, which makes Super Mario and Pokemon games as well as the Wii U home console, was founded in 1889. It made traditional playing cards before venturing into video games. Reputed as a visionary an...
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