Posted September 19, 2013 on AP on Fox
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 was also known for owning the Seattle Mariners major league baseball club, died Thursday of pneumonia at a hospital in central Japan. Yamauchi was Nintendo president from 1949 to 2002, and engineered the company'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. Reputed as a visionary and among the richest men in Japan, Yamauchi made key moves such as employing the talents of Shigeru Miyamoto, a global star of game design and the brainchild of Nintendo hits such as Super Mario and Donkey Kong. A dropout of the prestigious Waseda University in Tokyo, Yamauchi's raspy voice and tendency to speak informally in his native Kyoto dialect was a kind of disarming spontaneity rare among Japanese executives. Yamauchi had little interest in baseball, but was approached to buy the Mariners, who may have had to move to Florida without a new backer. The acquisition in 1992 made the Seattle club the first in the major leagues to have foreign ownership. ''Hiroshi Yamauchi is the reason that Seattle has the Mariners,'' then-Sen. Slade Gorton said Thursday from his home in Bellevue, Wash. ''When no one else would stand up and purchase them and they were about to leave to go to Florida, he did, simply as a civic gesture.'' The Mariners issued a statement on his death saying his gesture of goodwill to the citizens of the Pacific Northwest is legendary, and he also promoted Japanese players. ''Mr. Yamauchi will be remembered for his role in moving forward the opportunity for Japanese baseball players to play in the United States,'' the team said. ''He will forever be a significant figure in Mariners baseball history.'' Yamauchi never watched his baseball team play in person and transferred his majority shares to Nintendo of America in 2004. After being succeeded at the helm of Nintendo by Satoru Iwata, Yamauchi stayed on as adviser, but his role increasingly diminished with the years. ''We will continue to treasure the values Yamauchi taught us - that what makes you unique lies at the core of entertainment. And we at Nintendo will continue to change the company flexibly to adapt to the times, as Yamauchi did, to carry on his spirit,'' Iwata said in a statement. The company has floundered in the past couple of years, hurt by a strong yen and competition from games on smartphones and tablets. Yamauchi is survived by Katsuhito Yamauchi, his eldest son. A funeral is scheduled for Sunday at Nintendo, following a wake on Saturday. --- Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at www.twitter.com/yurikageyama
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Hope for the Hopeless: Seattle Mariners

This is the thirteenth edition of Hope for the Hopeless, where we will take a look at the first ten fourteen teams in the league eliminated from playoff contention, and examine what their fans can be optimistic about after a disappointing 2013 season. Next up: the Seattle Mariners. I can't believe there was this sentiment that the 2013 Mariners were contenders at midseason...

Yamauchi's death affects Mariners

Japanese businessman Hiroshi Yamauchi died Thursday at age 85, and news reports noted how the former president of Nintendo sold his majority ownership stake in the Seattle Mariners nine years ago. That is technically true, but Yamauchi maintained quiet control of the Mariners until the very end of his life. Major decisions still required his approval. And his passing has come in...

End of Season Post-Mortem: 2013 Seattle Mariners

Here we are, folks: the End of Season Post-Mortem series. If you're new here (which about 50% of our reader base is in comparison to last year), here's a brief explanation: after a team is eliminated from playoff contention, we're going to put their season under a microscope and look at just what the hell went wrong, what went right, and so on and so forth. The goal is...

Seattle Mariners Get Elite Season From Hisashi Iwakuma

Everyone knows that Felix Hernandez is the alpha-male of the Seattle Mariners starting rotation, but the team has also cashed in a fantastic season from an unlikely source. Japanese import Hisashi Iwakuma has put up a huge year and has given Seattle an excellent 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation. After Wednesday’s dominant, 8 inning 0 run performance against the Detroit...

Marinaers' Felix Hernandez will start Sunday

The Seattle Mariners have some good news to share as they end the 2013 season. Ace starting pitcher Felix Hernandez will pitch again. MLB.com's Greg Johns reports that Hernandez threw a pain-free bullpen session on Thursday, and he will start this coming Sunday against the Los Angles Angels. In fact, Hernandez is adamant about starting on Sunday. "You can book it, Sunday...

With Passing of Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo of America Retains Ownership of Seattle Mariners

Hiroshi Yamauchi, the man listed as majority owner of the Seattle Mariners, and a key figure that headed Nintendo from 1994 to 2002, passed away at the age of 85 on Thursday in Kyoto, Japan. The cause was complications from pneumonia. The Mariners released a statement saying: The Seattle Mariners organization is deeply saddened by the passing today of Mr. Hiroshi Yamauchi. His...

Ex- Mariners owner Yamauchi, 85, dies

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...

Iwakuma shuts down Tigers to help Mariners win 8-0

Hisashi Iwakuma extended his scoreless innings streak on the road to 25 and Justin Smoak homered off Justin Verlander to help Seattle Mariners beat the Detroit Tigers 8-0 on Wednesday night. Iwakuma (13-6) matched his career high going eight innings, giving up just four hits and one unintentional walk. His 25-inning scoreless streak on the road matches a franchise record. Verlander...

Ibanez 'Definitely' wants to play next year

Raul Ibanez stated yesterday to Seattle Mariners’ beat writers that he’d like to play another year. He was among the team’s best hitters in the first half and has a team leading 28 home runs, but should the M’s consider bringing him back for a 19th MLB season in 2014?

Looking Back: Mariners vs. Tigers series rewind

M’s Take 1-of-4 Every Seattle fan essentially knew it would be tough for the Mariners to win games in Detroit. Facing one of the best teams in baseball in 2013, Seattle headed to take on the Tigers for a four-game set that would see them match up against the likes of Anibal Sanchez, Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, and Rick Porcello while themselves throwing a mix of veterans and...

M's Iwakuma shuts down Tigers

Hisashi Iwakuma extended his scoreless innings streak on the road to 25 and Justin Smoak homered off Justin Verlander to help Seattle Mariners beat the Detroit Tigers 8-0 on Wednesday night. Iwakuma (13-6) matched his career high going eight innings, giving up just four hits and one unintentional walk. His 25-inning scoreless streak on the road matches a franchise record. Verlander...

Mariners win a rare laugher, 8-0 over Tigers

About a month ago Hisashi Iwakuma took over as Mariners staff ace and never looked back. At a time of year when pitchers everywhere are wearing down from fatigue and injury including Mariners starter Felix Hernandez Iwakuma seems to be getting stronger. The second-year Japanese league veteran beat the venerable Detroit Tigers 8-0 on Wednesday night in arguably his finest outing...

Tigers shut out by Mariners

DETROIT (AP) -- Hisashi Iwakuma extended his scoreless innings streak on the road to 25 and Justin Smoak homered off Justin Verlander to help Seattle Mariners beat the Detroit Tigers 8-0 on Wednesday night. Iwakuma (13-6) matched his career high going eight innings, giving up just four hits and one unintentional walk. His 25-inning scoreless streak on the road matches a franchise...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.