Seattle Mariners pitcher James Paxton experienced an encounter with a bald eagle prior to his start against the Minnesota Twins.

I’m honestly speechless.

Baseball has only been back for a week. We’ve seen Shohei Ohtani dominate both on the mound and at the plate. We’ve seen Giancarlo Stanton hit two Opening Day home runs, strike out five times in the home opener while getting booed, and then get a standing ovation after hitting a home run in less than 24 hours. We’ve seen a game begin with back to back home runs and then end with back to back home runs. We’ve even seen Tyler Clippard have a successful outing.

Yet somehow, none of those is the craziest thing to happen this week.

A bald eagle landed on Seattle Mariners pitcher James Paxton during the National Anthem. 

This is absolutely unbelievable. Easily one of the most patriotic things that has ever happened. In fact, if I were to create a ranking of the biggest moments in American history, I would have to say this is sandwiched somewhere in between the signing of the Declaration of Independence and Labor Day barbecues.

And how about some appreciation for Paxton? This guy watched a creature that is as synonymous with freedom as it is with death from above completely disregard its training and decide to jump on him. Paxton is just watching one of the most efficient flying predators on earth go rogue and hang out on the field right in front of him and then watches it try to land on his shoulder. 

He just stood there with an unchanging facial expression and then ducked away from the eagle as if to say “alright buddy you’re bugging me now.” Confidence level on this guy is absolutely through the roof.

Even though Paxton is Canadian, he just broke the internet for being part of one of the most patriotic things that has ever happened. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this video resurface as part of a campaign during his now inevitable political career.

He also followed this once in a lifetime incident with a solid five innings, allowing five hits and two runs, so you can go ahead and add “nerves of steel” to the special talents section of his resume. 

What a first week of baseball.

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