I really didn't want to get too sappy or emotional with this blog post, as it is an unique one to write, but one I feel is still important, considering how close it hit to home, not just for this blog, but myself as well. There was a death, and while it wasn't anyone I knew personally, it was still some who had a major impact in my life indirectly. I feel like it is the only appropriate thing to do, as an expression of respect and admiration I have.
Hiroshi Yamauchi, former President of Nintendo and majority owner of the Seattle Mariners baseball organization, passed away at the age of 85. He took the position of President of Nintendo back in 1949, and was responsible for taking the company into electronics market and eventually to the top of the mountain in the video game legacy. Also, when became majority owner of the Mariners, the team was dangerously close to moving to Florida, but with his backing and support, they stayed in the great city of Seattle.
My childhood, among other things, revolved around Nintendo (as you should know by now) and the Mariners, as Ken Griffey, Jr. was my all-time favorite athlete ever, despite living in Southern California most of my childhood. With that, I figured the only appropriate game to play for this blog entry was Ken Griffey, Jr. Presents Major League Baseball, for the Super Nintendo. It was easily one of my most-played games as a kid, as I dumped in countless hours to it, playing season after season. Next to Tecmo Bowl, I can't think of a sports game that I put more time into, ever. That's how much I liked this game.
Aside from the fact it feature my favorite athlete of all time in the game, it was actually a really fun game. Because they didn't have a licensing agreement with the players, they couldn't use anyone's real name other than Griffey, so the rest of the league was made up of rosters featuring fictitious characters. I always sensed that the developers had a little bit of fun when coming up with the names, but looking at the Wikipedia page for the game, I realize that they had a lot more fun than I could have ever imagined. This made going back and playing a few games all that much more entertaining.
The game itself is a classic, at least in my eyes. But far more than that, it represents a couple different severely important aspects of my childhood. I was just one of millions and millions of kids that Mr. Yamauchi affected in the best possible way over the years. And I couldn't thank him more for that.
For more on the life and legacy of Hiroshi Yamauchi, IGN.com did a great feature piece. Check it out here.