"Every person you pass at this point is special," Jeter said before he went 2-for-5 in the Yankees' series opener against the Rays. "They're all Hall of Fame players, and it goes without saying how good their careers were."
Jeter, playing with a bone bruise in his left ankle, ran down the first-base line as best he could as the ball trickled away from Johnson in the fifth inning with David Price on the mound.
It was his third milestone hit against Price, with the first tying Lou Gehrig's record for hits at the original Yankee Stadium in 2008 -- in Price's Major League debut -- and the second marking hit No. 3,000 last season.
A New York crowd witnessed each one, and 45,200 fans rose to their feet this time, even before the center-field scoreboard was able to recognize Jeter's accomplishment.
"Our fans are the best fans in the world, I've always said that," Jeter said. "They appreciate a lot about history and I've been playing here for a long time, so it makes you feel good."
Eddie Collins is next on baseball's all-time hits list and in ninth place with 3,314 hits -- a target Jeter may not reach until next season, with only 18 games remaining in the regular season.
Due to discrepancies in historical statistics, some numbers may differ according to the source. Some statisticians rank Jeter 11th all time due to conflicting accounts of Cap Anson's career hits total; both the Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician of Major League Baseball, and MLB.com consider Jeter to be in sole possession of 10th place.
Steven Miller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.