James Patrick Parker had just made another of his many appearances as the Oriole Bird, this time at the Glen Burnie home of a seriously ill child.
It was a part-time job for the 23-year-old Towson State University senior theater major, and one he enjoyed. And after two seasons in the bird suit, it was something he did well.
But it would be his last performance.
At 4:40 p.m. yesterday, on his way home to Carroll County after the Glen Burnie appearance, Parker was killed in a one-car accident at Fort Meade.
Fort Meade spokesman Julius Simms said Parker, of the 1900 block of Daisy Road in Woodbine, was driving his 1986 Ford Bronco north on Md. 32 just south of the National Security Agency when he lost control.
"For unknown reasons, he drove onto the shoulder of the roadway and over-corrected, causing the vehicle to roll several times," Simms said.
Parker was thrown partially out of the vehicle during the first roll, and then hurled completely out, Simms said. He suffered massive head injuries.
He was taken to the Kimbrough Army Community Hospital at Fort Meade, where he was pronounced dead at 4:57 p.m. No other vehicles were involved, Simms said, and no one else was injured.
Bob Miller, public relations director for the Orioles, said the Oriole organization was "extremely saddened" by Parker's death.
"The intent of an Oriole Bird mascot is to bring a lot of joy to a lot of people. Jamie was very good at what he did. It's always tragedy when someone loses their life, but doubly so at such a young age.
"We send our sympathies to his family. We here at the Orioles consider ourselves part of an extended family, and we are going to miss him," he said.
Parker was one of three performers who do the bulk of the Oriole Bird's appearances at home games and community events.