For all those who cower at the thought of sticker autographs and low-end hits, there's 2013 Topps Five Star Baseball. Filled with hard-signed cards and a solid checklist that doesn't have a lot of filler names, it has plenty for autograph collectors to chase.
Granted, it comes with a very high price tag, the company's highest of the year for a baseball product. But that's part of the risk.
Top names in 2013 Topps Five Star Baseball include regular rarities like Ken Griffey Jr, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Mike Trout and Yasiel Puig. And while they may not command quite the same prices, the set also has several names that haven't signed for a lot of MLB products in recent years. Bo Jackson, Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez fall into this category.
It's a guarantee that some of the rare multi-player cards and unique relics are going to command a lot of attention and big prices. As one might expect from an ultra high-end release, there are several book cards, jumbo patch autographs, bat knobs and the like.
But what about the collector who doesn't have a massive budget? It still might be worth tracking 2013 Topps Five Star as there are bound to be some deals. As some people chase the set's biggest hits, it could very well lead to some attractive cards of fan favorites going for extremely reasonable amounts. This happened last year as so many autographs hit the market at the same time. It's not a matter of mass production but rather similar items showing up at the same time. Within a few months, it might be tough to find some of those singles that seem readily available now.
That goes for the base cards as well. Despite no signatures or relics, they're numbered to just 75. For first-year players, that makes them some of the rarest official rookie cards of the year.
The following is a real-time look at the 50 most-watched 2013 Topps Five Star Baseball auctions currently listed on eBay. Not only does it showcase some of the top cards in the set, but offers a look at what's generating the most interest right now.