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Nintendo of America owns a majority stake in Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners, and that has led to one of its investors (and an obvious baseball fan) to make an odd request.
While gamers around the world are wondering what Nintendo is planning for its next gaming console, one of the company’s stakeholders has another concern altogether. During a gathering of Nintendo investors in Japan on June 26, the unnamed shareholder expressed his concern that the Mariners are going to retire a jersey for the “wrong” player.
Let’s allow the investor to explain:
“I heard that in January of this year that Randy Johnson will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I speculate that it might be possible for the Seattle Mariners to consider retiring his uniform number of ’51,’ but to Japanese people, the uniform No. 51 of the Seattle Mariners belongs to Ichiro Suzuki. About this possibility, I would like to know the opinion of Mr. [Satoru] Iwata who is also the CEO of the principal owner of the Seattle Mariners, Nintendo of America.”
Basically, this shareholder is hoping Iwata can step in to prevent the Mariners from putting a No. 51 jersey up on the wall of their home at Safeco Field with the soon-to-be Hall of Fame pitcher’s name on it instead of Suzuki’s. To be fair, fans local to Seattle have discussed this for years.
But it doesn’t sound like Iwata is going to place a call to the Mariners’ front office any time soon.
“Regarding the uniform No. 51, Nintendo of America is not the 100 percent owner of the Seattle Mariners, and it makes important decisions with other owners of the team,” said Iwata. “I have personally met with Ichiro several times, and I personally would like to maintain a good relationship with him. However, it is not appropriate for the CEO of Nintendo of America to share my comments on your speculation at this sort of public occasion. Thank you for your understanding.”
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