Ripken bar hits fund-raising shelf

NEW SWEET DEAL

January 13, 1993|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

Baltimore loves Cal, the shortstop.

But will it feel the same about Cal, the candy bar?

Like Reggie Jackson before him, the Orioles superstar has been turned into a confection. Starting this week, Cal Ripken, the Orioles' $6 million-a-year man, will be part of a sweet deal of a different kind.

The Cal bar, billed on the wrapper as a " 'Double Play' of peanuts and caramel in milk chocolate," will hit the market this week. For now, the bar is available only at Morley Candy Makers East in Millersville, regional office of the Mount Clemens, Mich.,-based maker of the candy. On Friday, the bar will go on sale for $1 at Pasadena's Jacobsville Elementary to help raise money.

"My guess is they ought to sell real well," said principal Wayne Miller.

Sales at other locations throughout the state, mostly to be used as fund-raisers, will follow. Fittingly, the Cal bar should hit Baltimore right around spring training.

This is a Cal bar, not a low-cal bar. Its 2 1/4 ounces pack 303 calories. But at least it's made from milk chocolate.

Miller himself plans to sell one of the 300 cases -- that's 36 to a case -- the school has ordered. That will allow him to enter a sweepstakes for one of two wrappers autographed by the candyman himself. Students who follow their principal's example also will be eligible.

The school will get 45 cents from each candy bar sold.

"What we're doing is allowing schools and Little Leagues to use it as a fund-raiser now," said Ronald Kenjorski Jr., Morley's sales and service manager in Millersville.

Ron Shapiro, Ripken's agent, said the shortstop's royalties will go to the Cal and Kelly Ripken Foundation, to benefit the many Baltimore-area charities the Ripkens support.

That's 7 cents per bar for the first 300,000 bars and 11 cents a bar thereafter.

Shapiro said the candymaker approached Ripken last year. The shortstop has nothing to do with what's inside the wrapper, other than to approve the bar's taste.

"I thought they were real good," said Beverly Denes, a secretary at Jacobsville, adding the candy bars tasted like Turtles -- the nuts and chocolate candy, not the reptile.

The company put Ripken's picture and signature on the wrapper -- a silvery white, trimmed with Orioles orange and black.

"They told us there was room for a message," Shapiro said. The message, printed on the back of the wrapper: "The road to success begins with education. Stay in school and you'll always be in the game."

That the Cal bar is nearly identical to the Isiah bar (that's Isiah Thomas, point guard for the Detroit Pistons) and the Randall bar (in honor of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham) is no coincidence. Morley makes those bars, too, and has hopes to market a professional athlete candy bar in each of its four regions, Kenjorski said.

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