Verizon Honors Baltimore Icon Cal Ripken Jr. With Commemorative SuperPages Cover

BALTIMORE - Verizon Information Services today honored one of baseball's greatest heroes, Cal Ripken Jr. with a $10,000 donation to the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. Photographs of Ripken appear on the cover of the 2001-2002 Greater Baltimore Verizon SuperPages telephone directories. The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum was the backdrop for the donation and the celebration of Verizon's yearlong salute to the Baltimore Orioles' perennial all-star and two-time MVP.

More than 2.3 million Greater Baltimore Verizon SuperPages directories - East, West and City editions - featuring Ripken's image on the cover have been distributed to local residents and businesses during the past month. The Baltimore directory, among the more than 2,000 directory titles Verizon will publish in 2001, is one of only eight Verizon SuperPages to feature a localized cover. Ripken is the first sports figure to have his photograph on the cover of a Verizon directory.

"Ripken and Verizon share a hometown tradition of dedication to the Baltimore community," said Fran Lee, vice president of sales, Verizon Information Services Washington, D.C. metro region. "Verizon is proud to honor Cal's accomplishments, not only to the sport of baseball and the Orioles, but also to the city of Baltimore."

Lee presented Ripken a $10,000 check for the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, which honors Ripken's late father. The Foundation was created to bring the joy and craft of baseball to youth everywhere and to educate kids about the dangers of tobacco use.

"I want to thank Verizon for the generous donation to the foundation named after my father," said Cal Ripken Jr. "My dad had a passion for teaching baseball, and my brother Bill and I will continue that legacy. The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and the Aberdeen Project will be big parts of that effort."

Framed directory covers commemorating the Orioles great also were presented to Michael Gibbons, director of the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum, and to Ron Brown, director of corporate sponsorship and sales for the Baltimore Orioles.

Ten fourth and fifth graders from James McHenry Elementary School, who are part of Baltimore Reads Reading Edge after school program, also attended the event as a reward for their commitment to reading. The children - participants in the 100 Book Challenge, a program in which students are challenged to read at least 100 books throughout the school year - toured the museum with Ripken and Gibbons.

The new Greater Baltimore SuperPages directories - with the Ripken covers - feature an Inside Look® Community Magazine, which showcases area attractions, entertainment, recreation and community services. The magazine also includes transportation contact information and city, transit and surrounding area maps for Baltimore. Consumers looking for a restaurant to satisfy their appetite will find Menu Ads under Restaurants in the yellow pages.

Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation

The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, established this year, will bring the joy and the craft of baseball to underprivileged youngsters who otherwise would not be afforded the opportunity to attend a Ripken Baseball camp or clinic. Additionally, the foundation will educate children about the dangers of tobacco use.

Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum

The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum is an independent, not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to perpetuating the historic legacy of Babe Ruth, the Baltimore Orioles, regional baseball and related themes by preserving, exhibiting, interpreting and augmenting its collection for a diverse audience.

Verizon Information Services and SuperPages.com

Verizon Information Services is the world's leading print and online directory publisher and a content provider for communications products and services. The largest directory publisher in the world, Verizon has annual revenues of more than $4.1 billion and publishes nearly 1,200 U.S. Verizon SuperPages directories and 400 international directories with a total circulation of approximately 142 million copies worldwide. Verizon Information Services also produces and markets SuperPages.com, the Internet's #1 online directory and shopping resource. SuperPages.com receives as many as 12 million visits and 9 million unique visitors a month. SuperPages.com also powers directory services on MSN, InfoSpace, AltaVista, Excite, Lycos, Ask Jeeves, HotBot, BigFoot, Tripod and Angelfire.

Based in the Dallas area, Verizon Information Services is a unit of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), one of the world's leading providers of communications services.

Through its signature Verizon Reads program and the Verizon Literacy Network, Verizon is committed to leading the fight to increase U.S. literacy levels by creating community and corporate awareness, raising funds, encouraging collaboration among literacy providers and engaging employees in supporting literacy programs. Verizon Information Services supports community outreach programs across the nation designed to increase the literacy rate of children and adults, and to help people of all ages become computer literate.

For more information on Verizon Information Services, visit www.verizonyellowpages.com. For more information on Verizon's literacy programs, visit www.SuperPages.com and click on the Verizon Reads icon.