MLB approves sale of Seattle Mariners, Stanton to take over

    HOUSTON (AP) — Major League Baseball owners approved the sale of a controlling stake in the Seattle Mariners from Nintendo of America to a group of minority owners led by Western Wireless Corp. founder John Stanton and retired Microsoft executive Chris Larson.

    Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said the deal will close Friday or Monday.

    This will be the first transfer in control of an MLB team since Ron Fowler led the purchase of the San Diego Padres in August 2012.

    Stanton will take over as control person from current chairman Howard Lincoln, who is retiring. The Mariners anticipate a seamless transition in management.

    Mariners chairman emeritus John Ellis said "there's not a soul, other than the people retiring, that will be impacted, because all of these same partners are still involved,"

    Nintendo of America, under the direction of Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, bought the Mariners from Jeff Smulyan in 1992. Under Nintendo's ownership, the Mariners moved from the Kingdome to Safeco Field in 1999.

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