Nintendo's game

April 14, 1992

Major league baseball owners are having sensible second thoughts about selling the Seattle Mariners to a local group largely financed by Nintendo, the Japanese video-game firm. Word from an owners meeting indicates they are no longer horrified at the idea of Japanese money backing a team.

The deal could still collapse, and the extent of Japanese ownership could be diluted to appease jingoists. But the owners now appear to view the proposal correctly: a choice between local ownership of a faltering franchise or abandonment of Seattle for a more lucrative market.

The proposed new ownership consists of executives from major businesses in the Seattle area, including Nintendo, which has its U.S. headquarters there, employing 1,400 workers. Its managing partner, a Japanese, has lived in Seattle for 15 years. No Mariners owner has lived there at all.

Nintendo is regarded as a good corporate citizen. If its help is decisive in keeping baseball in Seattle, its money should be welcomed by all who value the sport.

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