If Chicago Cubs fans look up and squint hard, they might glimpse Harry Caray perched on box-seat cloud, next to longtime pal Pete Vonachen as they wait for the first pitch of the World Series.

That’s how Dutchie Caray, 87, widow of the Hall of Fame announcer, sees things.

“Harry and Pete were the very best of friends,” she says with a chuckle. “They’d be electrified by what’s going on right now.”

Rocky Vonachen, 57, who holds the reins of his late father’s Peoria Chiefs, says the pair probably have been pre-gaming: “I’m sure they’re up there, popping a few Budweisers.”

Together, they were the life of the party — even in death. After Harry Caray died at age 83 in 1998, Pete Vonachen delivered the eulogy, a roast-like remembrance that evoked as many laughs as tears.

“It was no secret that Harry enjoyed a drink or two,” Pete told the throng at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. “ ... A lot of people would say, ‘It’s nice that you’re Harry’s friend. He always talks about you.’ I’d say, ‘He has to talk about me. I’ve been his buddy for 48 years and survived!’”

If the eulogy was good for Harry, it was good for Pete. When Vonachen passed away at age 87 in 2013, his son echoed his father’s 15-year-old message, telling the crowd at the Peoria, Illinois, funeral, “If you have a good friend, maybe you should put your arm around him and say, ‘I love you, my friend.’”

They met in a collision of luck and thirst. In 1950, Caray (already a veteran of St. Louis Cardinals broadcasts) flew into Peoria as announcer for the St. Louis University baseball team. A day before a game with Bradley University, a carload of school reps went to the airport to fetch Caray. Vonachen, a 1949 BU grad running the school’s concessions, went along for the ride.

As the car neared the Hotel Pere Marquette, Caray blurted, “What’s there to do in this town?” The answer came with Vonachen escorting Caray through a two-night pub crawl, interrupted only briefly by sleep and the basketball game.

After that, the good times rolled whenever the two could get together. Eventually, it became a traveling foursome: Harry and Dutchie, Pete and Donna.

But Caray and Vonachen were professional pals as well. After Caray wore out his welcome in St. Louis and spent a miserable 1970 with the Oakland A’s, Vonachen called baseball buddies in Chicago to help Caray catch on with the White Sox. In 1983, after Vonachen bought the Peoria Suns, a California Angels affiliate, Caray (by then exploding in popularity nationwide on Cubs nationwide WGN telecasts) helped convince the Cubs to put a Class A team in Peoria.

Though the Chiefs switched to the Cardinals after the Cubs pulled out in 2012, Rocky Vonachen thinks his father would be rooting for the Cubs in the Series — especially with the Chiefs as the alma mater of Cubs manager Joe Maddon and players Javier Baez and Jorge Soler.

“My dad was just a baseball fan,” Rocky Vonachen says.

Dutchie Caray, the lone survivor of the couples’ quartet, says Harry and Pete will be looking down, arm in arm.

“They were inseparable,” she says.

— Phil Luciano is a Journal Star columnist. He can be reached at pluciano@pjstar.com, facebook.com/philluciano and (309) 686-3155. Follow him on Twitter.com/LucianoPhil.