Seattle resident here. Yamauchi bought the Mariners out of respect for the area. Nintendo’s American HQ is in Redmond, a city just E/NE of Seattle.

The Mariners could have been bought and moved to another city, so he found some spare change and bought the team, keeping them in town and supplying them with the funds to consistently be among the top 5 or so payrolls in the sport. He did this despite apparently having zero interest in the sport.

Sure, it was also an investment, but I have always appreciated him doing it.