Bald eagle lands on Mariners P Paxton's shoulder during anthem

NOAA via Weather Bell

After all, Paxton is nicknamed the "Big Maple."

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.

Rather than soaring to the mound to reach his summoning handlers, the bird took a path straight toward Paxton, causing him to jerk his upper body backward to avoid being grazed.

For his part, Paxton played this pretty coolly, perhaps figuring the less he moved, the less likely this feathered America-loving dinosaur would rip the tendons from his non-throwing shoulder. Gibson earned a win in his first start as he pitched six scoreless innings against the Orioles in Baltimore.

More news: 'Threats, disrespect' unjustified, Mexican president tells Trump

"It was coming right for me and I was like, 'Alright, the guy is over there". He was surprised to have the eagle land on his shoulder, but he didn't flinch.

"I think it's a sign of how strong the wind was tonight, or that maybe I need to get in the weight room more", Dozier joked. "I was just standing there trying not to panic". "But then as I stood straight up, it fell back onto the ground".

Other players on both teams had a good laugh over the incident. Paxton gave up a two-run home run in the sixth and got a no-decision.

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