Column: For Notre Dame’s Jack Gurevitch, baseball is all fun and games

Jack Gurevitch of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame poses for a photo in the dugout.
Jack Gurevitch of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame High is a top hitter who makes sure he’s having fun every game.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

Picture a little kid eating an ice cream cone as it spills onto his face, hands, shirt. Everyone watching is smiling and laughing while enjoying the entertainment. That’s how first baseman Jack Gurevitch plays baseball.

He acts like a kid let loose in a candy store, always enjoying — baseball in this case — and having fun. His personality is contagious and attracts the attention of teammates, opponents and fans.

“I’m a very talkative guy,” said Gurevitch, a senior first baseman and pitcher for Sherman Oaks Notre Dame. “I have a lot of personality and like to express it. My mom, for my whole life, has told me, ‘If you’re not having fun, why are you doing it?’ I always try to make the game fun.”


In four years at Notre Dame, Gurevitch has been the hitter pitchers least want to face.

“When he hits the ball, it sounds differently,” coach Tom Dill said. “If they get two strikes on him, it’s not over. He can hit anything.”

Gurevitch, who has committed to the University of San Diego, has such an outgoing personality that he can have a running conversation with a runner at first. During a three-game series against Studio City Harvard-Westlake in which he hit two home runs, he was talking with assistant coach Junior Brignac, his former youth coach, and Wolverines outfielder Andrew Citron, a former youth teammate.

“Jack always talks to us,” Citron said. “He’s definitely an outgoing kid.”

While running to first after hitting a ground ball against Harvard-Westlake, Gurevitch tripped over the bag and fell on his face. Fans and players laughed. But they hadn’t seen the funniest moment yet.

Gurevitch suddenly popped up like he was doing a workout in the gym, from his chest, then to his feet. It was a move Dwayne Johnson would have applauded.

“It was very Jack to do that,” Citron said. “Everyone laughed.”

“I fell over and tried to make the situation a little less awkward for me,” Gurevitch said. “I jumped up and tried to get my dugout amped up.”

The reason Gurevitch is appreciated, admired and respected by teammates and opponents alike is his love for baseball.

“It’s a game at the end of the day,” he said. “I always try to remember not to take it too seriously even if it’s my favorite thing in the world.”


Gurevitch’s ability to feel comfortable in the batter’s box no matter how big the moment serves as one example of what can happen when an athlete takes on pressure with a positive attitude.

“My biggest thing as a hitter is trusting my eyes and trusting my hands because I’ve been doing it for so long,” he said. “I feel if you’re not relaxed and you’re too tense, you’re not going to do well. My dad has taught me looseness takes you a long way.”

Gurevitch helped lead Notre Dame to a 20-7-1 record and a share of the Mission League championship with Harvard-Westlake. He batted .389 with 37 hits and 36 RBIs. Two of his three home runs came against the Wolverines.

He may not hit a lot of homers but he sure knows how to celebrate them.

“It gets everyone on the squad going,” he said. “When I come into the dugout, it’s like we all hit one. I don’t think I’ve ever intentionally tried to hit a home run in my life. I’ve been told line drives turn into home runs.”

He wishes for more during the Division 1 playoffs that begin Friday. Notre Dame opens with a home game against Manhattan Beach Mira Costa. Then it will be on to college baseball and perhaps pro ball. Whatever happens, Gurevitch couldn’t be happier.

“It’s the best experience I’ve ever had,” he said. “I’ve had the most fun on a baseball field. These are my friends.”