A Peoria businessman who used his friendship with Chicago Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray to help keep minor league baseball in the city has died.
The Peoria Chiefs said former owner Harold "Pete" Vonachen died Monday. He was 87.
According to the Chiefs, Vonachen bought the team in 1983. He used his connection to Caray to help turn the Chiefs into the Chicago Cubs minor league affiliate and give the team stability.
Chiefs spokesman Nathan Baliva said Vonachen sold the team but later led a group that bought it back in the early 1990s.
Vonachen worked as general manager until he retired in 1998. But Baliva said he was still "the face of the franchise."
Vonachen also owned a popular Peoria restaurant and was involved in other businesses.
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