OAKLAND -- Monday's 6-5 loss to the lowly Royals was surely a tough pill for the A's to swallow, but there was a bright spot for Marcus Semien.
The A's shortstop blasted his career-high 31st home run of the season in the second inning, a two-run shot to center field. More importantly, it was his 29th homer from the leadoff position, breaking Rickey Henderson's single-season franchise record of 28.
"I thought it was cool that he was here today sitting right behind home plate," Semien said. "He's still one of us. He spends a lot of time with us. He's like one of our teammates. It's pretty special."
As a Bay Area native, Semien truly understands the significance of passing Henderson, in any category.
"He was my dad's favorite player growing up," Semien said. "[He's] a Hall of Famer, so it's cool to be in any conversation with him."
Semien has put together an MVP-caliber season for the A's. The 28-year-old is slashing .284/.365/.519 with 31 home runs, 38 doubles, seven triples, and 87 RBI. He has also started every game of the season at shortstop, where he has a legitimate chance to win a Gold Glove.
"He's been fantastic," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "Durable, power, average, on-base (percentage), defense, one of the better players in the league."
Semien ranks in the top 10 in the AL for nearly every major offensive category. He leads the A's in hits, runs, doubles, triples, RBI, and walks, and he has joined some truly elite company with all of thsoe numbers.
Sure, those may seem like particularly specific qualifications, but anytime you're on a list with just Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, you know you've done something special.