NEW YORK -- With his single up the middle in the seventh inning, Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees is now tied with one of his boyhood idols, Cal Ripken Jr., for 13th place on baseball's all-time hit list.
"Right now, it is kind of hard to sit around and think about it," Jeter said after the Yankees' 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox. "I think I've told you before what he has represented to the game, being a shortstop, he is someone I've always admired. At this moment, now, it is not something I'm thinking about."
Jeter and Ripken both have 3,184 hits. Next up for Jeter is Nap Lajoie at 3,252. If Jeter stays healthy, he will have a shot to catch Lajoie this season. Jeter has 96 hits in 73 games this season.
Thursday night, Jeter nearly moved past Ripken in dramatic fashion. Down a run with a man on and two outs in the ninth, Jeter nailed an opposite-field drive that sent White Sox right fielder Alex Rios crashing into the wall for the final out.
"They are playing no doubles," Jeter said. "So it either goes out or he catches and he caught it. I thought I had a chance, but it didn't happen."
Jeter, 38, may try to pursue 4,000 hits. His contract has one more season for $17 million, plus a player option for $8 million in 2014.
Jeter has played down the idea of catching Pete Rose's 4,256 career hits, saying he simply is focused on today.