Ripken was 41 years old and three games away from retirement when he recorded hit No. 3,184 of his career -- a single off Frank Castillo of the Red Sox. Jeter turned 38 on Tuesday, and only Hank Aaron (3,272) and Ty Cobb (3,666) had more hits than the Yankees captain before that age.
"Right now, it's kind of hard to sit around and think about," Jeter said after flying out to the warning track to end a 4-3 loss to the White Sox. "Obviously, what [Ripken] represents to the game, being a shortstop, he's someone I've always admired. But at this moment right now, it's not something I'm thinking about."
Nap Lajoie is next on the all-time hits list for Jeter at 3,242.
Jeter entered Thursday's game at Yankee Stadium leading the American League in hits with 95, and was well on his way to his 13th All-Star Game appearance -- which will be played July 10 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City -- and seventh consecutive bid. Ripken played in 18 All-Star Games during his 21-year career in Baltimore.
Ripken moved to third base for his final five seasons after playing his first 16 years at shortstop, giving him an even better perspective of what Jeter is still accomplishing, with no thought of retirement.
"Sometimes it's unfair when we compare a guy like Jeter to his younger self," Ripken said Wednesday. "There was so much talk last year about losing range and maybe declining at his position. I'm sure he internalized last year, worked harder in the offseason.
"You don't hear any talk about that now, and just based on what he is doing, you don't think about his age. He's a fantastic player and has been fantastic for a long time."