Johnson; Chet and Little Heidi.jpg

Dad and Heidi – very likely the same night as this event . . .

The Minnesota Twins were in the hunt for the division championship in the summer of 1987. My folks were visiting us for a few days – we were still in our house in northeast Brainerd – we were out in the back yard. We had just had supper – burgers on the grill. Our daughter Heidi was two years old – our son Steven would be born the following summer.
So there we were. Mom, dad, me and Sue, with Heidi playing around the wading pool and our cat Belle roaming the neighborhood as she loved to do.
The Twins were on TV, which we could hear through the open window. I have no idea who they were playing because I was wrapped up more in my family. We fooled around, we talked, we watched Heidi toddle around the swing set. At some point, I went in to get something to drink for all of us.
That year, the Twins telecasts had this promotion. Send in your name with the name of a Twins batter, and if your card gets drawn and that player hits a home run in the inning you state, you win a big prize. As I entered the house, they announced my dad’s name as this evening’s home player.
Out to the yard I went with the big announcement. We all came in to watch as the Twins batted in that inning. Dad’s player came to bat and did not get a home run, so the announcer explained that Chet Johnson, instead of the big prize (whatever that was) would get an insulated Twins warmup jacket. Well, that was good enough for all of us. It came in the mail to their house a while later.
Dad died in 1991, having worn that jacket many times. I am now the owner of that jacket, and though it is now 26 years old, I still wear it.


The jacket … as it looks now