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Sweet Smell of Advice

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You might say Cal Ripken Jr., the superstar shortstop of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team, is going to bat for education ... by way of a candy bar.

The new "Cal Bar'' not only offers a "double play of peanuts and caramel in milk chocolate,'' as its wrapper proclaims, it also gives children some sound advice.

Mr. Ripken's picture and signature appear on the front of the wrapper. On the back is the message "The road to success begins with education. Stay in school and you'll always be in the game.''

Manufactured by Morley Candy Makers East, a regional office of the Mount Clemens, Mich.-based company, the Cal Bar currently is available only at the firm's retail store or through fund-raising events by schools and Little Leagues.

The candy firm has also applied the idea using two stars from football and basketball: It markets the same bar with photos and messages from Randall Cunningham, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, and Isiah Thomas, the guard for the Detroit Pistons.

Jacobsville Elementary School in Pasadena, Md., was the first to sell the Cal Bar this month, in an effort to raise money for its cultural-arts program.

The school ordered 300 cases of the candy and immediately had to order 150 more to meet the demand. People from all over the state have been calling the school to order a case, says Jane Reidy, the president of the school's P.T.A.

The candy sells for $1 a bar, and the school receives 45 cents from each bar sold.

Mr. Ripken's royalties will go to the Cal and Kelly Ripken Foundation to benefit various Baltimore-area charities.

The enormous popularity of Mr. Ripken, who was born and raised nearby, and the chance of winning two personally autographed wrappers in a drawing have fueled the sales, Ms. Reidy says.

The Cal Bar should hit Baltimore-area retailers right in time for spring training.--R.J.

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