Recently Nintendo announced the sale of their majority stake in the Seattle Mariners, which is a shame as the story of how the Japanese company came to rescue Seattle's baseball team is a fascinating one.
In 1992, the Seattle Mariners were on the verge of moving to Florida. When a group of investors led by Nintendo stepped in, it sparked a wave of controversy. Would Major League Baseball allow a foreign company to own an American team?
YouTube's Gaming Historian has put together an excellent documentary which discusses the history of baseball in Seattle, the worrying xenophobia surrounding Nintendo's offer, and how their purchase ultimately changed the game. It's well worth checking out, do let us know what you think about this fascinating slice of gaming (and sports!) history with a comment below.
I never knew that. You'd think that MLB would be grateful. Potentially moving from Seattle to Florida? Talk about opposite ends of a country. Upper northwest to lower southeast. Very insightful video and I liked the cartoon drawing at 15:55. It's mad, Yamauchi never attended even 1 game.
That was fascinating.
Economic concerns do not equal xenophobia but that would ruin a good headline. Japan had the same restrictions against foreign ownership according to the video. As a baseball and videogame fan it was an interesting video but you cannot just ignore the historical context of the economical mindset during this timeframe and just sprinkle in the word xenophobia. With many American workers losing jobs to foreign companies at the time, you can bet there would be concern politically and economically speaking.
Did you read my reply? I referenced the video in my reply of course I watched the video. The word was just as misleading in it. You do realize how many foreigners play in the MLB?
Ichiro is the man
@InklingOrange Excellent points in both your comments. I definitely think "xenophobia" is overstating the situation, especially in the context of the varied cultural makeup of MLB.
Very interesting history indeed!
I love how Nintendo tries incorporating sports into games...maybe this inspired them to do so.
This history is also IMHO well told in the book "Console wars" by Blake J. Harris.
Very interesting. I have to wonder if this near debacle helped play into why Vincent was ousted as MLB Commishioner later that same year.
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