CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — When fans enter Whataburger Field this season, many things will be different from before.
A lot of that is due to the pandemic.
Fans will wear masks, seats will be zip-tied down to start the season to enforce social distancing and there will be more hand-sanitizer stations than ever imagined.
Another ballpark element will be different this year as well. The voice that echoes through the stadium, the one that says "play ball" will be Amy Montez Frye, who becomes the first female to hold the position for the local franchise.
"I really know the responsibility that it holds," said Montez Frye, who will be welcoming fans back to the ballpark tonight for the team's first games since 2019.
Her debut is a long time coming after she was hired in January 2020.
"This was the right fit," she added. "When the audition came about I was like this is it."
The Corpus Christi native has aspired to slide into the chair behind the microphone in the press box at Whataburger Field.
Montez Frye made her radio debut on Real Country KFTX at the age of 18 after working there as an intern. She earned an associate's degree in Radio/Television from Del Mar College and later graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
After winning the job, Opening Day could not arrive quickly enough for her. But her debut was pushed back by the pandemic.
"They started letting us know they were keeping an eye on this COVID situation and the season was going to be at least two weeks pushed back," Montez Frye said.
COVID-19 turned into a global pandemic and in March 2020, the Hooks season was officially canceled. Montez-Frye never made her debut.
The doors of the stadium were locked, gates closed and speakers silent. Whataburger Field was home to no one for more than a year.
"I was very bummed out," said Montez Frye. "I was really torn up about it, I had a baseball blues."
Fast forward to the spring of 2021. People are getting vaccinated, the COVID-19 pandemic is seemingly being controlled and Whataburger Field had started playing host to a few college and high school games.
Montez Frye showed up for many of them, just to get her reps.
"Any minute that I can get behind the mic this year I am going to be so grateful for and excited about," she said.
Now, Opening Night finally has arrived. The day that she makes her long-awaited debut and her voice booms throughout Whataburger Field.
She is an inspiration for girls coming out to the ballgame.
"She'll be a great role model for girls coming into the games," said Amy Johnson, Hooks ballpark entertainment manager. "Hearing that voice and knowing that it is not just a man over the speakers is really cool."
It will change things around the ballpark.
"You're not used to walking into a ballpark and hearing a female calling the lineups," added Montez Frye.
On May 4, 2021 at 6:35 p.m. that will change.