65 years later, last living survivor recalls fatal Minnesota minor league bus crash

From Jon Nowacki at the Duluth News-Tribune on July 18, 2013:

At 6-foot-2, former Duluth Dukes baseball player Bernie Gerl always liked an aisle seat on road trips — just so he could stretch his feet.

Gerl followed the same routine on July 24, 1948, grabbing an aisle seat four rows behind the driver before the rest of the guys could take it.

Just then utility man Gil Trible came along and said, “Hey, Bernie, move over.”

Gerl responded, “Oh, so you want to get in, too? Climb over me and you can have the window.”

Trible did just that, and later that day he was one of six people killed in the 1948 Duluth Dukes bus crash.

Gerl, of Joliet, Ill., is the last living survivor of that crash, and he was back in Duluth earlier this week as part of the 65th anniversary of arguably the worst tragedy in professional baseball history.

Gerl, 86, received a plaque on Sunday at Wade Stadium and threw out the first pitch before Monday’s Duluth Huskies game against the Rochester Honkers.

Read the full article here: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/272774/

Originally published: July 18, 2013. Last Updated: July 18, 2013.