Former Peace Corps director and vice presidential candidate Sargent Shriver will celebrate his 75th birthday next month with a "Roasty-Toasty" dinner party and fund-raiser for Best Buddies of America Inc., an organization founded by his son Anthony Shriver. The $250-a-plate dinner at the home of Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver in Potomac will be emceed by syndicated columnist and Kennedy-Shriver family friend Art Buchwald.

After the dinner, the second annual Best Buddies Ball ($40 a ticket, $20 for college students) will be held at Columbia Square. Best Buddies pairs college students on 66 campuses across the country with people who are mildly to moderately mentally retarded. A number of Shriver friends and associates from the Kennedy and Johnson administrations are expected as well as a list of celebrities including basketball great Wilt Chamberlain, Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis, the Washington Redskins' Charles Mann, Surgeon General Antonia Novello, actor in-law Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver. Out and About President Bush may be having a tough time urging House Republicans to pass the $500 billion deficit reduction package, but, as he did this summer during the early days of the Persian Gulf crisis, he is finding time for play. Yesterday he took the opportunity to beat Rep. Bill Archer and Matthew Meyer, a friend of his son Marvin, in a doubles tennis match. Bush was helped by his partner, U.S. Open champion Peter Sampras. The president reportedly played an aggressive net game that helped him and the 19-year-old tennis sensation win the first two games on the White House court -- one victory credited to Sampras's deadly serve. When Bush served in the third game, he doubled faulted and they lost. A politic Sampras told reporters later, "I was impressed" by the president's game. "The MVP was the president" ...

Hospital Report: Former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin has undergone a successful hip replacement operation in Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital. The 77-year-old Begin, who resigned as prime minister in 1983, underwent another hip operation in July after breaking his right hip in a fall at home ...

The great soprano Joan Sutherland, who made her debut in Sydney in 1951, brought the curtain down on her long career Tuesday back in Sydney, finishing the last of eight performances as Marguerite de Valois in Giacomo Meyerbeer's "Les Huguenots." With her husband, Richard Bonynge, conducting, Sutherland, 64, sang her last solo before an audience of 1,500, who paid up to $500 a seat. It was an understated version of "Home Sweet Home." The audience applauded her for 15 minutes ...

The Baltimore Orioles are now saying there was some confusion in reports in Baltimore and Washington that former president Richard Nixon would be invited to throw out the first ball at the 1991 season opener. "There is no substance at all to these reports," Lawrence Lucchino, Orioles president, said yesterday. "What was said to the news media by a spokesman from our marketing department is that no firm decisions on 1991 events at Memorial Stadium have been reached." Nixonthrew out the first ball when the stadium opened in 1954, when he was vice president, and next year will be the Orioles' last season in the park ...