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

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HOUSTON — Major League Baseball owners approved the sale of a controlling stake in the 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.

The sale was announced in April and approved Thursday.

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

The Mariners did not comment, preferring to wait until the sale closes.

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.

Nintendo of America, under the direction of Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, bought the Mariners from Jeff Smulyan in 1992.