Pete Rose clicked along at a 324 clip this year until he bagged his coveted 3,000th hit. In the weeks since, he has batted 242. A natural letdown, or -

What price glory? Pete Rose and his wife of 14 years, Karolyn, have separated, the family lawyer confirmed yesterday.

The couple, both native Cincinnatians, shared the limelight often, especially last month along with children Frawn Renee, 13, and Pete Jr., 8, as the Reds' third baseman reached the 3,000-hit pinnacle.An now, said attorney Reaven Katz, "They have separated, but we hope it's temporary. As far as I know it's nothing irreparable.

"I have talked to both Pete and Katrolyn about the problems," said Katz, while Rose was with the team on the West Coast, "and I'm hopeful they will get back together."

Yes, the sports folk live real lives too. In Tacoma, Wash., just last week, on their 21st wedding anniversary, Mary Lou Anthony, wife of pro bowling's all-time winner, Earl Anthony, filed of divorce and custody of the couple's son, 17, and daughter, 14. Her petition said the marriage is irretrievably broken . . .

While the Houston Astros are reeling from the loss of center fielder Cesar Cedeno, their Mr. Charisma, for probably the test of the season after surgery on the left knee he racked up sliding Friday night, the Houston Rockets are hoping the acquisition of Rick Barry will do for them what the signing of Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell did for the Houston Oilers. The NFL team attributes its record season-ticket sales largely to the drafting of Texas Longhorn star Campbell; Ray Patterson, Rocket general manager, figures to make up at the NBA gate, and then some, for Barry's estimated $1 million two-year contract. "I think Rick will account for another 1,000 to 1,500 season tickets and also affect the walk-up business," said Patterson - also noting the addition of a Barry mightily increases the attractiveness of a club's radio-TV package to national sponsors . . .

Also in the Houston spotlight lately was Redskin all-pro safety Ken Houston - roasted by friends, colleagues and rivals from his days at Prairie View (as a 180-pound center and linebacker) through his decade of 11 years (to date) AFL-NFL brilliance . . . Tonight, the Pigskin Club of Washington will say a toast to (Mr.) Adrian Dixon, who coaches th U. of District of Columbia women's track team.

Redskin middle linebacker Harold McLinton, doubling these days as a marketing specialist for Metro, will make the award at Howard University Law School at the club's 7:30 meeting. . . At noon today, the Touchdown Club will salute an offbeat but in-tune all-star team - the cast of "Annie, at a $7.50-a-plate luncheon, public invited (223-1542), Arf! . . . M.C. for the TD Club function will be the ever-popular Johnny Holliday, whose Radio Oneders basketball team finished the past campaign 16-1 and raised their nine-year figures to 184-28 and upward of $25,000 for charity. Which brings us to George Washington U., which employs Holliday as basketball play-by-play broadcaster, knocking Georgetown off WEAM-AM for the 1978-79 season. Once more GU looks for a new outlet . . .

Ken Norton, believe it or not, is the Boxing Writers Association fighter of the year, to receive the Edward J. Neil Award in New York Friday night. The year, of course, was 1977 . . . Jim Bouton is feelin' good over his 3-4 record, 3.18 ERA for the Class AA Savannah Braves, at age 39. The erstwhile Yankee pitcher was 0-6, 5.26 in the same league at 38; now harbors fresh dreams of knuckling down to become the majors' latter-day Hoyt Wilhelm . . . American League rivals didn't have to worry about any Cleveland - New York trades before the deadline. Indian chief Gabe paul still had not succeeded in divesting himself of his Yankee stock, so no deals allowed . . . Looking for an "adjustment" in his Cleveland Brown seven-year contract - he'll settle for a $1 million annuity to be paid by the NFL club by 1988, the story goes - is scatback Greg Pruitt. Owner Art Modell promised to show his appreciation of Pruitt's contributions in some measure . . . The Alexandria Dukes have rescheduled Bob Feller Night, rained out in May, for Monday . . . Still the last Senator holdover on the Texas Rangers: Toby Harrah, offered (and rejected) as part of a package to the Yanks for Graig Nettles, before trading deadline . . .

Jerry McGee, Catholic U.'s track coach who was drastically injured in an I-95 crash in Virginia last year, may be hobbled but he's back in the swing. He's recruited some more dandy swifties from right around home: Bob DeSantis, Peary; Bob Charette, Walter Johnson, and Tom Vanlierde, Friendly, all excellent in the middle-distances - DeSantis is Maryland AA champ at both the quarter and half mile . . . New head basketball coach at Chantilly High, promoted from assistant: former American U. Eagle (and Edison All-Met) forward Pete DeHaven . . . And Howie Lassoff, this year's 6-10 AU graduate, has signed to play for Hapoel Haifa Sports Club in Israel's First Division.