Nintendo president interested in MarinersThe Seattle...

Sports briefly

January 24, 1992

Nintendo president interested in Mariners

The Seattle Marios?

A group of investors led by Hiroshi Yamauchi, president of Nintendo Co. Ltd. of Japan, yesterday announced an offer to buy the Seattle Mariners baseball team.

Of the $125 million pledged, about $75 million would come from the president of Nintendo, source of "Donkey Kong" and Mario Brothers video games.

The sale, which would represent the first non-North American ownership of a major-league baseball team, must be approved by Mariners owner Jeff Smulyan, 11 of 14 American League owners and seven of 12 National League owners.

Baseball commissioner Fay Vincent said it is "unlikely foreign investors would receive the requisite . . . approvals" from the team owners.

Washington Sen. Slade Gorton said he didn't see any problem having Japanese investors involved in trying to keep big-league baseball in Seattle. The team has been lured by a group in St. Petersburg, Fla.

* The Pittsburgh Pirates, unhappy with a deteriorating stadium and a $4.2 million unpaid pledge, sued the city to break their Three Rivers Stadium lease, saying it isn't interested in leaving Pittsburgh, but is tired of waiting for money owed since 1985 and for promised improvements to the 22-year-old stadium.

Carl Barger, president of the Florida Marlins, was hospitalized in Pittsburgh after complaining of dizziness. He is listed in fair condition in Allegheny General Hospital.

Soccer

Cuba said it was pulling out of qualifying competition for the 1994 World Cup because of economic difficulties and the country's slim chances of moving beyond the opening rounds.

* Ivory Coast upset 1990 World Cup quarterfinalist Cameroon, 3-1, on penalty kicks after a scoreless tie in Dakar, Senegal, and set up a meeting with Ghana in Sunday's final of the African Nations Cup.

Figure skating

Petr Barna of Czechoslovakia won the men's title at the European Figure Skating Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland. Barna, runner-up the past two years, upset defending champion and Olympic gold medal hopeful Viktor Petrenko, who was second. Alexei Urmanov, like Petrenko skating for the Commonwealth of Independent States, was third. He completed a rare quadruple jump.

Boxing

A woman who claims former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson fathered her 11-month-old son charged that blood tests refuting her claim were conducted improperly and should be retaken. Natalie Fears, 27, filed a motion asking Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Black to order the new round of tests. A Feb. 19 hearing on the request was set.

* A rematch between Thomas Hearns and Iran Barkley will take place March 20, almost four years after Barkley pulled a major upset by stopping Hearns in the third round. Hearns will defend the WBA light-heavyweight title against Barkley, the IBF super-middleweight champion, in Las Vegas.

Track and field

Former Canadian sprinter Marvin Nash is facing cocaine trafficking charges in Toronto after an undercover police officer bought a small amount of the drug. Nash, now 38 and homeless, came within .15 of a second of running in the 100-meter final of the 1976 Montreal Olympics. He placed fifth and was eliminated.

Ski jumping

Tad Langlois of Newport, N.H., won his second Olympic jumping tryout in 24 hours in Lake Placid, N.Y., and made the team, joining Ryan Heckman, Bob Holme, Bryan Sanders, Kurt Stein, Mark Konopacke and Jim Holland.

Hockey

Philadelphia Flyers president Jay Snider denied media reportthat Bob Clarke would return to the hockey club as possibly team president or general manager. Clarke is the general manager and vice president of the Minnesota North Stars.

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