Original Seattle Mariners owner Les Smith dies at 93

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

The Brooklyn native helped bring baseball back to Seattle in 1977.

Les Smith, one of the Seattle Mariners' original owners responsible for bringing to team to Seattle in 1977, has died, according to a report by The Associated Press published on Yahoo Sports. Smith was 93.

Smith died in his sleep Wednesday night just a few days after celebrating his 93rd birthday Saturday, his son told The Associated Press.

A Brooklyn native, Smith attended New York University and served in the United States Army during World War II. Upon returning from overseas, he formed Kaye-Smith Enterprises, which was known primarily for owning various radio stations across the country.

Smith purchased the Mariners as an expansion franchise in 1977 along with Danny Kaye, Stanley Golub, Walter Schoenfeld, James Stillwell Jr. and James A. Walsh. The team played its first game April 6, 1977, in front of a sold-out crowd of 57,762. That first game inside the Kingdome, where the Mariners lost to the California Angels, 7-0, was one of Smith's fondest memories, according to The Associated Press.

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