Purchase of the Seattle Mariners
Yamauchi’s former majority ownership of the Seattle Mariners doesn’t have anything to do with Nintendo’s industry growth, but it did have a positive cultural impact on baseball worth noting. In 1992, Washington state senator Slade Gorton was desperate to keep the Mariners from moving to Florida. He went to Nintendo of America, hat in hand, asking for a wealthy Japanese investor to stake a claim. Yamauchi, figuratively speaking, stepped up to the plate, owning the team until 2004. Though he never attended a single game, it did result in Japanese baseball players being able to sign on with American leagues.