Dennis Martinez bought a house in Baltimore (Randallstown) this summer although his three-year contract was expiring and he could pitch out his option in 1982. Now, major league coleader with 14 wins in abbreviated '81, he has signed to stay an Oriole through 1986.

"I considered playing out my option," Martinez said. "But both my wife and I wanted to stay here. Life and family are more important than picking up and moving just for a little more money." He and the O's aren't saying how much he settled for in the fresh five-year pact, but it's enough to foot an occasional trip to visit the folks in Nicaragua.

Now Hank Peters dickers with Mike Flanagan, only key Bird not tied up through at least 1983 . . .

In Cincinnati, free agent Dave Concepcion has signed a five-year renewal with the Reds that signals a significant policy shift on the part of the team done for the year despite baseball's best 1981 record. What, the quibbling Reds turning into an Oriole-type family?

Cincy guarantees $4.5 million or so to the 33-year-old, 12-year-Red shortstop. Now, with Ken Griffey, Dave Collins and Dan Driessen into free agency, President Dick Wagner was asked whether the team would consider guaranteeing other players' contracts despite its tough stand for so long against that practice. "I think that answers itself," Wagner said after wrapping up the Concepcion package . . .

Family? Come Friday, says Carl Yastrzemski, he'll be signing for Red Sox year 22 . . .

Hall of Fame infielder Fred Lindstrom has died, at 76 in his native Chicago. Later Northwestern baseball coach and Evanston, Ill., postmaster, he hit .311 with four NL teams, 1924-36. Lindstrom was the Giants' "boy wonder" third baseman, at 18 the youngest to play in a World Series, in 1924. He batted .333 with 10 hits against the Senators -- four hits off Walter Johnson in Game 5 -- but the lingering image is of Lindstrom at third in the 12th inning of Game 7, Earl McNeely's hit hopping freakishly over his head for a double and the winning run: 4-3, Washington . . .

USC, UCLA, Oregon and Arizona have been notified the NCAA is investigating their athletic programs, a probe stemming at least in part from the violations that brought Pacific-10 sanctions down on USC, UCLA, Oregon (plus Arizona State and Oregon State) in 1980. In question at Arizona, not among those penalized by Pac-10, is an alleged football slush fund. The NCAA is not expecting responses until around January, so any new sanctions will not hit in 1981 . . .

The Charles Town Turf Club, so recently on the brink of going under, has bounced back to "definitely" turn a profit this year. Donald Hudson, the thoroughbred track's acting general manager, talks of a possible 1981 pretax profit of $1 million. There was a nice lift from the Hearns-Leonard closed circuit, and a nod tossed toward the West Virginia lawmakers who reduced the betting tax from 5.75 percent to 4 percent effective Oct. 1, encouraging increased purses.

Even the one football game Maryland won this season came hard, at least to the Terrapins' mascot turtle, a.k.a. James Paul Wand. An N.C. State football player, 6-foot-4, 242-pound William Arthur Moxley, is charged by Raleigh authorities with assaulting the diminutive Wand, 22, during the game Sept. 26. As the 34-9 Terp romp wound down, Moxley, 19, allegedly took out frustration on the costumed Wand coming over for water near the Wolfpack bench. Wand told of being "cuffed around a bit"; that "some girl stole my tail," then "this guy bumps into me . . . threw me up against the wall and my head popped off." Whereupon the rest of the turtle crawled under the water table. Now, Moxley awaits a Nov. 3 court date.

A. Top jockeys: Laffit Pincay Jr. brought home his 5,000th winner last week at Santa Anita; Johnny Longden, 6,032; Bill Shoemaker, 8,060 and counting. Q. The top 10 golf courses, as rated by respected Golf Digest: one has just been demoted. Which?