The eagle has landed ... on the Mariners pitcher

Phillip Cunningham
April 7, 2018

You could say that Seattle Mariners pitcher James Paxton is, well, "unflappable".

That laser focus came in handy before the Mariners played against Minnesota in its home opener as a bald eagle that was released during the National Anthem for a flyover decided Paxton was his landing perch. "And I'm not the eagle guy, '" Paxton said after the game, via Major League Baseball. "I don't know. But it came for me", the left-hander said on Thursday evening after the Twins rallied past the Mariners 4-2.

During the National Anthem, Paxton was standing alone in left field at Target Field between warm-up throws.

"I was just standing there, trying not to panic", he said.

The eagle then made a second, more successful attempt, as Paxton ducked his head but remained surprisingly calm.

"Figured I'm not going to outrun an eagle", Paxton said. But it was just trying to stand on my shoulder. The Canadian's nickname is the Big Maple. "The talons, they were kind of sharp on my back, but I don't have any scratches I believe".

Maybe the Eagle will give him the good luck he needs to turn around his 11.00 ERA. Fortunately the pitcher wasn't hurt, but it had to have shaken his nerves somewhat to have a giant eagle with big claws land on his shoulder and arm seconds before he was supports to start a game!

"That's not the first time I've seen a bald eagle, but it was the first time I've had one try to land on me", Paxton said.

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