James Paxton is the coolest pitcher in Major League Baseball.
The Seattle Mariner didn’t even break a sweat as a bald eagle, yes a bald eagle, made a bee-line for his shoulder before last night’s game against the Minnesota Twins.
Seriously, this eagle has landed.
Oh, just an 🦅 landing in a Big 🍁.@James_Paxton, totally fearless. pic.twitter.com/8xHYBTwNhC
— Mariners (@Mariners) April 5, 2018
The eagle was part of the pomp and ceremony before Minnesota’s first home game of the season.
And this happened during the American national anthem.
BALD EAGLE ATTACK 😂
Outstanding reaction from the @Mariners‘ James Paxton, though. Just stay calm. (via @fsnorth) pic.twitter.com/pWer9G1L5L
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) April 5, 2018
WATCH: A bald eagle LANDS on Mariners pitcher James Paxton’s shoulder before the team’s game against the Twins! He kept his calm but how would you react? pic.twitter.com/lFsgfl9Ose
— ABC World News Now (@abcWNN) April 6, 2018
The best part, of course.
Paxton is Canadian.
Which is why the team calls him Big Maple.
And that’s where the nickname comes from. pic.twitter.com/r6w5zTmjZM
— Mariners (@Mariners) April 6, 2018
Oh, and about the misguided eagle?
“Challenger simply thought the pitcher was one of his handlers standing near the large U.S. flag in the outfield ready to catch him and give him a piece of salmon,” the American Eagle Foundation said in a statement after the game.
He has performed at dozens of events without errors. And Paxton wasn’t hurt last night.
WOW! Watch as a bald eagle lands on @Mariners pitcher James Paxton during the National Anthem. pic.twitter.com/lHifFaeGUx
— KATU News (@KATUNews) April 5, 2018
Paxton, was in good spirits, about it post-game.
“It was coming right for me and I was like, ‘Alright, the guy is over there. And I’m not the eagle guy,'” Paxton told reporter later. But I guess this eagle was just confused — apparently the first time ever. I was just standing there trying not to panic.”
“I wasn’t going to run,” he said. “I figured I’m not going to outrun an eagle, so we might as well just see what happens.”
Canadian. The eagle must have known.
Oh, and the Twins won, by the way, 4-2.