"It's special; I grew up watching Paul," Jeter said. "I played against him briefly. I have a lot of respect for him and his career. Any time you talk about eighth in anything, it's special. It definitely means a lot."
Molitor, who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004, reached his hits total over a 21-year career with the Brewers, Blue Jays and Twins from 1978-98.
"It feels good" Jeter said. "I'd be lying to you if I said otherwise. It's an accomplishment. You've got to play for a long time to even get close to something like this. I just try to play, I try to be consistent. I want to be out there every day. Like I've said before, if you do it long enough, then some of these things are attainable."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that it has been a treat to have a front-row seat to watch Jeter's ascension through the record books.
"We're the ones always yelling for the baseball when he gets the milestones, so we're aware of what's going on," Girardi said. "You think about some of the names that he's passed, and at this point it's pretty amazing."
The next name for Jeter to chase in his farewell season is Carl Yastrzemski, who logged 3,419 hits with the Red Sox from 1961-83 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.
"I'm aware of it when I get close to someone, but it's not like I have some sort of a checklist at home that I'm going over," Jeter said. "This year in particular, I'm just happy to be back out there playing.
"I'm sure someone here will remind me if I get close to somebody else. I try to enjoy it, especially when it's someone like Paul -- someone that you know and that you appreciate and respect."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.