Published: Sat, April 07, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Rogue eagle lands on Mariners pitcher James Paxton at Twins game

Rogue eagle lands on Mariners pitcher James Paxton at Twins game

As Dessa finished singing the Star Spangled Banner, a bald eagle that was supposed to land on the pitcher's mound instead alighted on Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton. Just before the anthem began, the eagle chose to use the left-hander's shoulder as a perch.

But "Big Maple", as he's called, didn't know what would be in store for him from this eagle.

As its handler rushed towards the pitcher, the bird got off the ground again, flew towards Paxton and landed on his shoulder.

With the eagle taking up residence on his shoulder, Paxton remained as calm as can possibly be expected from someone who is being accosted by a random eagle.

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The eagle's handler quickly came over to retrieve the bird and it appears Paxton suffered no ill effects from his brush with one of nature's most majestic creatures. When it first started flying toward my face, I ducked it. "And then I thought, 'OK, if I can stand up slowly, maybe it'll just rest on my shoulder". "The talons, they were kind of sharp on my back, but I don't have any scratches I believe".

After that, Paxton just went back to his warm-ups as if nothing happened. "I don't have any scratches, I don't believe", Paxton said.

"I guess the eagle knew I was Canadian".

Thursday afternoon, the Twins and Mariners will meet on the diamond before a sold-out crowd which should have plenty to do despite the chill. Robinson Cano is leading the team thus far with a.500 average and three doubles while Mitch Haniger had two home runs with five RBI.

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