Roger Connor's elevation as manager-captain and Myers' good showing at third base left no place open for Latham. "The Dude" could not play third base as well as a minor leaguer and was put on the coaching line. He blundered there, and, strange to say, was made manager. He lasted just 36 hours, and was again deposed. As a result Mr. Von der Ahe yesterday gave Latham his unconditional release. He is now free to sign with any club but there is little doubt that he will find no other berth in the League, and will ultimately find his way into a minor league. Thus another historic character fades out of the national game.
-Sporting Life, May 23, 1896
Latham, to tie this to the stuff I'm working on, played a large role in forming Chris Von der Ahe's historical reputation. Latham was a talented raconteur and one of his favorite subjects was his old boss. While Latham's stories were not particularly mean-spirited, VdA was almost always portrayed as ignorant and foolish. And he was always the butt of the joke. Also, from time to time, Latham's VdA stories were cruel and it was obvious that Latham held a bit of a grudge against VdA.
To say the least, the two men had a history. They butted heads on numerous occasions, when Latham played for the Browns, and there are stories where the two were screaming at each other, usually after VdA had fined Latham for something or other. Latham left the Browns in 1890, joining the Brotherhood club in Chicago, and there was a great deal of bitterness on both sides about what went down that year. And here we find VdA essentially firing Latham as manager of the Browns, releasing him and ending his major league career. It was an interesting relationship.