Jeter matched the New York Yankees record for hits with a seventh-inning single Wednesday night against Tampa Bay. Jeter’s third hit of the game gave him 2,721 in a Yankees uniform, tying a mark held by Gehrig for more than 70 years.
Jeter had a chance to break the record in the eighth inning, but he walked against reliever Grant Balfour.
Already on their feet in anticipation, fans at Yankee Stadium let loose with a roar when Jeter’s sharp grounder inside the first-base line got by a diving Chris Richard in the seventh.
Jeter’s parents, watching from an upstairs box between home plate and first base, raised their arms and exclaimed in excitement.
Jeter took off his helmet and twice waved it to the crowd of 45,848 during an ovation that lasted about 2 minutes. Rays players and coaches clapped as Jeter stood at first base.
After entering the game in an 0-for-12 slump, his longest hitless stretch this season, Jeter broke out of the rut with a bunt single toward third base leading off the bottom of the first inning. He beat the play without a throw, bringing a standing ovation from the crowd.
With cameras flashing all around the ballpark on every pitch to Jeter, he grounded out in the third inning against Rays starter Jeff Niemann and drove a ground-rule double to straightaway center in the fifth.
On his first chance to tie Gehrig, Jeter came through in fitting fashion — with an opposite-field hit.
In the middle of the eighth inning, the large video board in center field showed a replay and flashed “Congratulations Derek!”
Jeter also swiped second base in the first inning for his 300th career steal, which ranks second on the franchise list behind Rickey Henderson (326).
Gehrig’s final hit came on April 29, 1939, a single against the Washington Senators. The Iron Horse had held the club record for hits since Sept. 6, 1937, when he passed Babe Ruth.
*Article courtesy of Associated Press