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Cal Ripken Jr. pops his head into wife’s senate confirmation hearing, leaving behind his body

A Zoom background hid all but former Orioles star Cal Ripken's face, floating above his wife's shoulder, during her confirmation to the Special Appeals Court.

Texas attorney Rod Ponton is not a cat, and Cal Ripken Jr. is not a floating head.

Zoom has played many tricks on virtual courtrooms this week, including Anne Arundel County’s.

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Ponton reached internet fame Tuesday when he unknowingly appeared for a virtual hearing on the 394th Judicial Court in Texas with a kitten filter activated on his screen. He struggled for a minute to take the filter off.

“I am here live. I’m not a cat,” Ponton told a judge, who replied, “I can see that.”

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Monday, Orioles’ Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr.’s disembodied head emerged on Judge Laura Ripken’s screen during her confirmation hearing to Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals. It’s customary for a judge’s spouse or family to join them during the state Senate confirmation processs.

Ripken Jr. surprised committee members when he popped into view to show his support — as a floating head.

“Who is your husband again? Just kidding,” said state Sen. Ronald Young, chair of the nominations committee.

If you’re wondering what happened to the rest of the Iron Man, his body was cut off by her virtual background.

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If you’re wondering why Judge Ripken’s hair was purple, well, we are too.

“I always thought of Judge Ripken as super hip. I don’t know if that was just her COVID style these days,” said state Sen. Sarah Elfreth, who introduced Ripken at Monday’s Senate Executive Nominations Committee.

Ripken, whose magenta hair is unwavering throughout her speech, declined to comment. A judiciary spokesperson confirmed the new ‘do was not a statement piece. Rather, the former Anne Arundel County administrative judge was another amusing example of filter-tricks sneaking into court and legislative hearings that have largely moved online.

“I thought it was a lot of fun and a nice way to break up to those meetings,” Elfreth added.

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