|1975 Hostess Twinkies box with 3-player panel|
Licensing fees from cross-promotion by Hostess and similar brands proved extremely helpful to baseball's players union (MLBPA) as it moved from "toothless" in the mid-60s to "muscular and growing" in the era of free agency. In the collecting context, their hundred-plus card snack sets also presented licensed competition for Topps during their longest monopolistic era (1955-1980).
More personally, their sets also turned out some badass photos like 1976 #5.
Promotions spilled onto the pages of comics and other things kids spent their money on, further building a love of cards in the minds of young collectors.
|Hostess comic and magazine promo|
I hadn't thought about the artistry of that ad before, but those are nice hand-drawn renditions of 70s stars Rudi, Jenkins, and Sutton, three guys (and two HOFers) you wouldn't necessarily remember from that era.
If you mourn the passing of Hostess, also remember their significant connections to a time of change and growth for baseball players, its fans, and collecting. Requiescat in pace!