Jeter alone in sixth place with hit No. 3,431
Infield single in sixth off Kluber moves Yankees' shortstop past Wagner
NEW YORK -- This is likely the last step up baseball's career hits list for Derek Jeter, who has claimed sole possession of sixth place, and the Yankees' captain considers this milestone to be a significant one.
Jeter recorded career hit No. 3,431 on Saturday with a sixth-inning infield single off Corey Kluber in New York's 3-0 loss to the Indians, surpassing Honus Wagner (3,430). Jeter now owns more hits than anyone who has played shortstop in a big league game.
"It's one of those 'Wow!' moments, you know what I mean?" Jeter said. "To say you have more hits than anyone who's played the position at all, it's something I'm extremely proud of. Obviously, I would've liked to have won the game, but it's something that I'll be able to tell my kids about one day."
Jeter's hit came on a slow roller to the left side of the infield that third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall attempted to barehand. Jeter ran hard down the baseline and beat the play without a throw, receiving a standing ovation from the sellout Stadium crowd of 47,376.
The only players in Major League history to record more hits than Jeter are Pete Rose (4,256), Ty Cobb (4,191), Henry Aaron (3,771), Stan Musial (3,630) and Tris Speaker (3,514).
Because Jeter has announced that this is his final year and the Yankees have 47 regular-season games remaining, it is improbable that Jeter will notch the necessary 84 hits to pass Speaker.
"I try not to think about it," Jeter said. "Today, like I said, Honus Wagner, he's the last one who played short at all. That one hits home a little. Any time you pass guys like that, it's kind of overwhelming."
The 40-year-old Jeter came into the year with 3,316 career hits and has moved past Paul Molitor (3,319), Carl Yastrzemski (3,419) and now Wagner to climb into sixth place.
"The people that he has passed, it's unbelievable," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "This guy has been consistent for us all year long, and there were a lot of questions of where he would be at [physically]. But he's played pretty well."
It was the second infield hit in as many games for Jeter, who equaled Wagner's career mark in Friday's 10-6 victory over Cleveland with an infield hit that fell out of first baseman Carlos Santana's glove.
In 2009, Jeter became the all-time leader in hits as a shortstop, surpassing Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio (2,673). Wagner played the majority of his games at shortstop but also saw time at five other positions during a career that spanned from 1897-1917.