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|AL KAPLON is Video Ump|
"Referee Al" on "American Gladiators"
Al Kaplon was born and raised in the west San Fernando Valley city of Woodland Hills, California. Before he graduated from Taft High School in 1975, he had already started his Officiating career working after school and on the weekends.
In 1976 at the age of 19, Al won the award of "Umpire of the Year" from his local Umpire Association. The award came with a scholarship to the Bill Kinamon professional Umpire School - a five week intensive program that is the first step in a career as a professional baseball umpire. Al graduated high enough to get placed in pro ball. He would later come back as an instructor at that Pro Umpire School for 5 years.
After signing his first contract as an umpire in professional baseball in 1977, Al spent the next 10 years in the minor leagues with stints in the Lone Star League, Northwest League, California League, Texas League and five seasons in the Pacific Coast League.
Al Kaplon's MLB baseball experience included Umpiring in the American League and working as The Director of Umpire development for Major League Baseball International until 1995
With Al's acting career already on the rise booking commercials and movie parts since his first role in the Movie "Talent for the Game" in 1988, Al started his own production Company "Official Communications" in 1989.
Official Communications since 1989 has produced a series of Baseball Umpire Instructional Videos and Books which spawned the web site VIDEOUMP.COM these videos have become known as the premier umpire teaching tools world wide that include instruction on the rules of Baseball: "The Mechanics of Umpiring at any level," "Situations in baseball" and "How to keep score in baseball." The videos have been critically acclaimed as extremely entertaining with educational insight and high production quality.
Little League Baseball INC teamed with Al and official Communications in 2003 to produce and distribute the official Licensed Umpire Mechanics Video for Little League Baseball known as "Basic Umpiring and the Two Umpire System 60' Diamond Mechanics."
Appearing in some 60-75 commercials and a number of TV series over a 15 year span, Al's acting career reached new heights when he was cast and appeared in the 2004 hit comedy instant classic "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story." Cast in the role of "Tournament Referee," Al's talent shined on the big screen as #13 on the cast list with mega stars such as Ben Stiller, William Shatner, & Hank Azaria
In 2008, Al's was named the new "Referee" for the NBC prime time series, "The New American Gladiators."
In 2009/10/11, Al’s career continues to propel forward as the spokesman for "One A Day Men's 50+ Advantage Vitamin" with TV, Radio and Print AD Campaign and Mercedes Benz most recent S Class Commercial!