The eagle has landed! But on James Paxton? The Seattle Mariners pitcher was just minding his own business as he was standing on the field before the home opener against the Twins. He clearly wasn’t expecting the massive bird to single him out and land on his shoulder, but that’s exactly what happened. Sports Illustrated said that the bald eagle was brought out as part of the singing of the national anthem at Thursday’s game.
The prestigious animal may have gotten a bit confused on where it should be. It was flying over and around the American flag one minute, the next it was hovering over Paxton. The bird eventually landed on his shoulder, and they both looked confused.
Paxton was remarkably calm and collected. After all, he is called the big maple, so it seemed to be an appropriate choice. All is well though. As soon as the anthem was done, the eagle’s handler came rushing over to rescue the Canadian.
Apparently, running wasn’t an option for James Paxton. He said that he wasn’t going to try to outrun an eagle. He was quite understanding telling the media that the eagle was just confused. He explained that the bird was trying to land on his shoulder, but since there wasn’t a perch for it to land on, the eagle eventually fell off.
The eagle named Challenger has been used in the past at previous baseball games. However, this is the first time that this has happened. It looks like all is forgiven between James Paxton and Challenger.
— Mariners (@Mariners) April 5, 2018
Social media has been going crazy since the incident happened. Comments about Paxton being Canadian and also that this could have been the secret weapon that the Twins used against their opponents were all in good fun.
Unfortunately for the Mariners, they suffered a 4-2 loss to the Twins. However, it did give an interesting twist to the night. James Paxton has taken a walk on the wild side and lived to tell about it.