Eagle lands on Mariners pitcher before game

Fans enjoy 68 degrees at the Twins home opener in 2010. Image Paul Huttner  MPR News

The Minnesota Twins' home opener Thursday ended with a win for the home team, but the only thing anyone can talk about is the awesome poise Seattle Mariners pitcher James Paxton put on display when a bald eagle landed on his shoulder.

- A bald eagle that was brought out to fly for the national anthem at the Minnesota Twins home opener Thursday wanted to get in on the action against Seattle Mariners.

And Paxton wound up as the landing spot, sticking its talons into his back. He had no idea it would come well before the game.

The eagle then made a second, more successful attempt, as Paxton ducked his head but remained surprisingly calm. "I was just standing there trying not to panic".

"Figured I'm not going to outrun an eagle", Paxton said.

"As I stood up he kind of fell off my back a bit and was kind of clawing to get back on my shoulder", he said.

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"I just have to be not standing alone in the field", Paxton said.

Nicknamed Big Maple, Paxton has coincidentally starred in a commercial where he removes his ball cap to reveal a bird's nest containing eggs. "But then as I stood straight up, it fell back onto the ground".

"When I saw him like perk up on Paxton's arm, I'm gone", Buxton said.

Maybe the Eagle will give him the good luck he needs to turn around his 11.00 ERA.

"I guess the eagle knew I was Canadian".

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