Derek Jeter tops Babe Ruth on hits list

Updated: August 9, 2010, 2:02 AM ET
By Ian Begley | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter passed Babe Ruth on the all-time hits list with an RBI single in the second inning of a 7-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night.

Jeter ripped Josh Beckett's 2-2 fastball to center with one out in the second, driving in Brett Gardner from second base. It was career hit No. 2,874 for Jeter, who passed The Babe for 39th place on the all-time hits list. Jeter finished the night 2-for-5 with three RBIs and now needs two hits to pass Mel Ott (2,876) and six to pass Frankie Frisch (2,880).

[+] EnlargeDerek Jeter
Al Bello/Getty ImagesDerek Jeter acknowledges the Yankee Stadium crowd after he passed Babe Ruth on the career hits list.

Jeter was greeted with a long, loud ovation and chants of "De-rek Je-ter!" after news of the milestone flashed on the Yankees' JumboTron in center field. He acknowledged the crowd of 49,096 with a tip of the cap. Alex Rodriguez retrieved the ball after it was rolled to the Yankees dugout.

"Anytime you're name is alongside one of the all-time greats, it's a special moment," Jeter said.

The Yankees captain also hit a two-run double to right-center during a five-run fifth and snapped an eight-game RBI drought on Sunday night.

Jeter said he wasn't aware that he was approaching Ruth on the career list until it was brought to his attention a few days ago.

"Obviously it means a lot to baseball, but especially to this organization," Jeter said after the Yankees' win, which put them 2½ games up on the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East and seven games ahead of the Red Sox. "Any time you get a chance to pass [Ruth] in anything it's pretty special."

Jeter passed Lou Gehrig for the most hits in franchise history last September. Ruth had 302 hits in six years with the Red Sox and 13 in 28 games with the Boston Braves. Jeter, of course, has collected all of his 2,875 career hits with the Yankees. With 125 more, Jeter will be the first player in franchise history to reach the 3,000-hit plateau.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.

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