Man who started Mets’ ‘K Korner’ sees his idea go digital

By on April 2, 2015

Dennis Scalzitti, patriarch of the 'K Korner' at Shea Stadium, poses with former Mets ace Dwight Gooden, the inspiration for it. 

Dennis Scalzitti, patriarch of the ‘K Korner’ at Shea Stadium, poses with former Mets ace Dwight Gooden, the inspiration for it. 

The “K Korner” will go digital this season at Citi Field – on a scoreboard in leftfield – and it’s no surprise to the man who started it all by hand back in 1984.

With the advance of technology, it was just a matter of time says Dennis Scalzitti the man who made baseball history when he came up with the idea – in the shower, no less – of hanging Ks in the leftfield stands at Shea Stadium for a rookie strikeout sensation named Dwight Gooden.

The idea was to make a living scorecard.

“I told my friends, ‘let’s just do this and see if the fans like it,’” said Scalzitti, now 53 (going on 21) from his home in North Haledon, N.J. “And it took off.”

That idea in the shower changed the strikeout forever, though now it’s being taken out of the fans’ hands.

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Scalzitti poses in front of his homemade K in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“Just glad that they have it at all as we had that kind of impact on the game,” is what Scalzitti said.

Scalzitti, along with pals Leo Avolio (who worked 1984 then lost faith in the program) and Bob Belle were given passes (to Sec. 42) by the Mets after their antics got the crowds going.

“We weren’t drunk we weren’t high,” said Scalzitti of their crazed behavior. “Though people were always offering us things.”

Mets GM Frank Cashen once asked what he could do for the boys and Scalzitti said they needed security, as things were getting unruly in leftfield.

Fans display their 'K' signs at Shea Stadium.

Fans display their ‘K’ signs at Shea Stadium.

Fans at Shea get pumped when Doc Gooden takes the hill.

Fans at Shea get pumped when Doc Gooden takes the hill.

The plaque commemorating Gooden's rookie strikeout rookie.

The plaque commemorating Gooden’s rookie strikeout rookie.

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“The next day we each had a security guard.” said Scalzitti.

For Scalzitti, to have had a lasting impact on the game of baseball (one of his Ks is on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame) is the greatest reward.

“After all these years,” said Scalzitti. “I’m still filled up with such great memories.”

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Baseball – NY Daily News

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