Marc-ing his territory

Marcus Semien talks to reporters for the Teen Observer before the Oakland A's took on the Houston Astros on Aug. 6. Photo by Haley

Marcus Semien talks to reporters for the Teen Observer before the Oakland A’s took on the Houston Astros on Aug. 6. Photo by Haley Schikner

OAKLAND, Calif. — Marcus Semien, Oakland Athletics shortstop, grew up in the Bay Area and loved baseball. Everyone in his family was a San Francisco Giants fan. Semien’s grandmother took him to those games, and he remembers watching Barry Bonds play ball at Pacific Bell Park (now AT&T Park) and saw Bonds’ 700th career home run.

“Honestly, I’m happy wherever I’m at,” Semien’s said in an interview with Teen Observer, when talking about his move from the Chicago White Sox to the Oakland A’s. His mother, Tracy White, told The San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea: “We’re all now converted. I tell him, ‘Now I only wear green and gold for you.’ I’m an A’s fan now for sure.”

And Semien said he does appreciate being closer to home.

“Whenever you’re going through a lot of ups and downs, it’s hard times, it’s good to have that support there around you,” he said. Semien said he appreciates the great opportunities the Oakland A’s give him, and that they are working with him to improve his game.

Does Semien, 24, have any advice for young athletes? “Make sure you work hard, and whatever you’re working on and doing, make sure you give it everything you’ve got. … just work hard and grind through tough times because it’s always going to make you a better person, and in my case, a better player.”

Growing up, Semien was exposed to numerous sports. His father, Damien Semien, was a wide receiver for the University of California, Berkeley, Golden Bears. Marcus played baseball and basketball when he was young,  but said, “I was always better at baseball, and I always liked it better.” He added, “My dad recommended that I don’t play football because of all the injuries that come with it.” The younger Semien helped lead the Golden Bears to the College World Series in 2011 — the first time in nearly two decades.