GREAT FALLS -- A memorable night at a minor league baseball game is a sensory experience.
And, just as importantly, the sounds make it a one-of-a-kind atmosphere.
The audio portion is where longtime Great Falls Voyagers public address announcer Chris Evans comes in.
He’s been working part-time at Centene Stadium for 10 years and has been on the microphone in the press box for seven, becoming one of the more recognizable voices in Great Falls in the process.
“There was a substitute up here for the guy before, and he was kind of struggling and I talked to the general manager, Scott (Reasoner),” Evans explained. “I told him I did radio back in Missoula for quite a few years and I can come up and do it and he said sure. So I came up and I had the job.”
Though his nights are spent at Centene, by day Evans has served as the drama teacher at C.M. Russell High School since 2010. With a background in theater and years on the radio in college, the “Voice of the Voyagers” comes by his distinct voice naturally.
“My voice has gotten me in more doors than my face has,” he laughed. “I've got a voice but I've got a face for radio.”
Evans is in charge of keeping the game entertaining and working alongside the on-field promotions coordinator to engage fans.
"My favorite thing to do is starting lineups because I get to be a little theatrical and just get to make it as fun as I can by pumping up the home team and introducing the visitors,” he said. “It gives me a chance to be creative and that's one thing the GM has said a couple of times, just be Chris. And I tell him how dangerous that may be on occasions, but it's just turned out to be a great job.”
And Evans is not alone in the press box. A few feet to his left is his son Aidan Evans, who is in his fourth season as the Centene Stadium scoreboard operator.
“It’s just a place to come and watch baseball and hang out with my dad for a night away from home three hours,” Aidan said. “It's just a nice little break to change up the summer every once in a while.”
And Aidan isn’t the only Evans offspring that roams Centene.
“Actually all three of my kids have worked here. My oldest son Adam, my daughter Anna and Aidan,” Chris said. “The Evans family kind of grew up here in Centene Stadium.”
Indeed, Voyagers baseball is a family affair for the Evans crew. You’ll often find Chris sitting next to his grandson Jaxson in the booth. Those are the moments he lives for.
“I've got another 10 years before I retire from the teaching job and maybe this will be my retirement job,” Chris said. “I like to say they put me in the best seat in the house to talk and watch baseball. It's amazing.”