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All the more reason to celebrate Jeter as he goes after the last few hits he needs for entrance in a club that includes only 27 other major leaguers. Unlike the guy playing next to him, there’s never been a whiff of scandal around Jeter, never a question that he might have done something illegal or unethical to get an edge.

Jeter heads home Thursday for a four-game series against Tampa Bay at Yankee Stadium, where he and Yankee fans everywhere hope he gets the final three hits of needs for No. 3,000. Unlike Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh 39 years ago, the stadium figures to be packed.

That it comes just before the All-Star break makes it even more delicious. Jeter can be feted over the weekend, and again in Arizona when he starts at shortstop for the American League.

He’ll get the kind of celebration Clemente never got.

The kind of celebration A-Rod should never get.

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Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg