"I look up to him," Jeter said. "To have your name next to his in anything -- in my opinion -- is an honor, especially considering I've looked up to him. It means a lot."
Jeter entered play on Friday with 3,110 career hits, tied with the Hall of Famer for 18th place on baseball's all-time list, and he collected No. 3,111 with a second-inning infield single off Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.
Of the many iconic names that Jeter has surpassed, matching Winfield -- a lifetime .283 hitter who played 22 big league seasons, including nine with the Yankees, beginning in 1981 -- is among the most meaningful to the captain.
"He just seemed larger than life," Jeter said. "He was drafted in three sports, and I still think he's the only one to be drafted in all three sports. He gave back. I remember reading up on him. He's the reason I started my [Turn 2] Foundation. I just thought he was just a larger-than-life figure."
Jeter said that he and Winfield have formed a friendship after meeting during one of the shortstop's first seasons in New York. Jeter recalls exchanging basic pleasantries and not saying much before backing away from Winfield.
"I think when you're younger and you look up to someone, a lot of times, you almost don't want to meet him," Jeter said. "You don't want him to ruin it. But he definitely didn't ruin it. I've enjoyed all the time that we've spent together throughout the years."