Derek Jeter passes Willie Mays

Updated: September 15, 2012, 1:46 AM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- With his fifth-inning infield single Friday night, Derek Jeter passed Willie Mays to move into sole possession of 10th place on the all-time hits list.

Jeter picked up career hit No. 3,284 against the Tampa Bay Rays' David Price. On July 9, 2011, Jeter collected his 3,000th hit, a home run, off of Price.

Jeter's hard-hit single scooted just under the glove of second baseman Elliot Johnson. The crowd gave him a standing ovation and then chanted his name.

"Our fans are the best fans in the world," Jeter said after the Yankees' 6-4 loss in which he added another single. "I've always said that. They appreciate a lot about history."

Next up on the hits list is Eddie Collins, who had 3,313. Pete Rose is the all-time hit king with 4,256 hits.

"It's pretty special," Jeter said.

A hobbling Jeter is playing with a bone bruise in his left ankle. Yankees manager Joe Girardi removed him in the eighth inning of Wednesday's win in Boston, despite Jeter's objection. For the second straight game, he was the team's DH on Friday.

"I'm playing, so it's not an issue to talk about or discuss," he said before the first pitch Friday. "I've always been that way; I'm not going to change. You either play or you don't, that's the way I've looked at it."

Jeter entered Friday leading the majors in hits with 195, which was 16 hits better than the Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera. His .323 average was third best in the American League.

General manager Brian Cashman said there's not much that can be done to heal Jeter's bone bruise, except for extended rest. The Yankees are fighting for the division and a wild card and don't have the luxury to sit Jeter.

"We are going to help him manage to the degree we can," Cashman said. "It is someone who doesn't want help."

Jeter did not hear from Mays after tying him for 10th on the all-time list Thursday. He says he doesn't know Mays well but got the opportunity to interview him, along with Ken Griffey Jr., as part of the 2007 All-Star Game in San Francisco.

"Whenever you admire someone, it's always kind of awkward when you're sitting there talking to him on camera for the first time," Jeter said. "It was a fun experience and I've seen him throughout the years and like I said, he's always been really nice to me."

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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