Here's a peek at the Topps Art Department's responsibilities circa 1977-78 that shows just how much detail went into some of the artwork used on their display boxes. The box in question housed 1978 Baseball wax packs and you probably know it on sight:
"Ted" is Ted Moskowitz, the assistant art director under Ben Solomon and that is his boss's handwriting indicating "fixative" will be needed. Fixative spray adds a protective layer to paints and inks and it looks like the rest of the box art was essentially done at this point but an annoying sheen was still present.
The height of the original was greatly reduced in the final version above but there was certainly latitude in how much could be excised given the background striping. I'm not sure why the targets are cockeyed but imagine they've moved over the years. The art looks like it's about ten years older than the issue date, especially compared to the box top art which certainly looks more modernized. This almost looks like a piece created for internal mockups that eventually found its way to display boxes.
Ben Solomon essentially had his own ecosystem at Topps in terms of the art mechanicals and worked in conjunction with New Product Development (NPD) under Woody Gelman and Len Brown. Their influence on the company's visual imprints informed about five decades worth of Topps products.
EDIT 3/28/21: A tip o'the baseball cap to Mark R. Pekrul for info on the Rivers-Morgan photo Topps hijacked for the bottom right corner of the box top and split out Joe Morgan to the upper left, making him look like a very ill Johnny Bench. Voila: