The eagle has landed ... on the Mariners pitcher

The eagle has landed ... on the Mariners pitcher

The eagle has landed ... on the Mariners pitcher

Well first of all Challenger the world famous bald eagle got the call from his handler and took a detour only to land on the shoulders of Seattle Mariner pitcher James Paxton.

Coming into Thursday's game, Seattle Mariners pitcher James Paxtom likely thought his biggest challenge would be from the Minnesota Twins.

After a moment on Paxton's shoulder, the eagle dropped back to the grass, where its trainer corralled it. "And then I thought, 'OK, if I can stand up slowly, maybe it'll just rest on my shoulder".

"I was just standing there, trying not to panic", he said. "The talons, they were kind of sharp on my back, but I don't have any scratches I believe". The Vikings lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC championship game this winter, of course, before the Eagles came to Minneapolis two weeks later to win their first Super Bowl.

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The entire experience was witnessed by Paxton's teammates, who were lined up on the third base line for opening day introductions watching everything unfold.

Paxton was standing alone in left field at Target Field just minding his own business, when a bald eagle came flying in and landed on his shoulder.

Nicknamed Big Maple, Paxton has coincidentally starred in a commercial where he removes his ball cap to reveal a bird's nest containing eggs.

There was some good-natured joking after the game and Paxton had a phone full of messages to take care of as video of the event has gone viral.

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