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1912 L1 Large Leather Premium #112 Marty O'Toole
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $480
L1 Leather tobacco premium of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Marty O'Toole. L1 Leathers, which are one of the rarest and most desirable of all tobacco-premium issues, were issued as part of the same promotion as T3 Turkey Reds and S81 Silks. All three of these issues were available only by mail in exchange for coupons packaged with Helmar "Turkish Trophies" brand tobacco. Ten coupons were needed to get a T3, twenty-five coupons for an S81 silk, and fifty coupons were required to obtain each L1 Leather. The L1 Leathers are by far the rarest of these three classic premium-tobacco issues. Marty O'Toole is best remembered for his failings rather than his achievements in the majors. Considered one of the greatest pitching prospects in minor-league history, O'Toole's contract was the subject of an intense bidding war in 1911. Barney Dreyfuss of the Pirates emerged as the winner in the "O'Toole sweepstakes," paying $22,500 for the rights to the pitcher's services. Unfortunately, O'Toole's performance in the majors never lived up to expectations. In five seasons he won only 27 games and lost 36. Nicknamed "the lemon," by fans and the press, O'Toole never recovered from his subpar showing in the majors and was apparently so distraught that he later left this wife and family. The offered leather is in low-grade condition due to abrasions, edge tears, and one complete tear to the lower left extension (repaired on the reverse with clear tape), but is still very appealing visually and is a rarely seen relatively affordable sample from this important and legendary tobacco premium set. Reserve $200. Estimate $300+. SOLD FOR $480
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