SEATTLE (AP) The sale of 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 has become official.

The sale closed Friday, a day after it was approved by Major League Baseball. Stanton becomes Mariners chairman and CEO, replacing Howard Lincoln. This is the first transfer in control of an MLB team since Ron Fowler led the purchase of the San Diego Padres in August 2012.

''I care deeply and passionately about the game of baseball and about baseball fans in Seattle and the Northwest,'' Stanton said in a statement. ''Mariners fans have been so positive, so patient with the team, and we want to reward them with playoff and World Series baseball here at Safeco Field.''

More from FoxSports

Nintendo of America retained a 10 percent stake in ownership and the regional sports network ROOT Sports.

The team said the club's board of directors includes Stanton, Larson, Lincoln, John Ellis, Buck Ferguson, Jeff Raikes and Frank Shrontz.