Joe Dean knew from the way he walked that he was going to bowl well in his Tuesday afternoon league two weeks ago. The 87-year-old Dean ended up striding into the record book as he became the oldest person to roll a sanctioned 300 game.

The American Bowling Congress confirmed that Dean's perfect game on June 15 at Holiday Lanes in Columbus, Ohio, broke a record previously held by Bowling Hall of Fame member Joe Norris of San Diego, who rolled a 300 in 1994 at age 86 and remains an active bowler.

"I can usually tell how I'm going to do by how my legs feel," Dean said Monday during a break from practice. "They were feeling really well that day, but a 300 game isn't something you think about because you have to have everything go right for you.

"That's just the kind of game I had. Every shot was in the pocket and carried well.

"By the time I got to the sixth or seventh frame, some of the guys started mentioning that I'd gotten all strikes. I said they should wait until the 10th frame before getting excited."

Dean said that when he reached that point and was still perfect, everyone in the building had stopped to see whether he could get 12 strikes in a row.

"After the 11th, I told myself, 'Just keep bowling your game and be happy with what you get,' " he said. "The 7-pin didn't fall right away on the last ball, but another pin came off and hit it and everyone started shouting, especially me."


Plummer's Play

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Jake Plummer will be the latest athlete to put his name on a breakfast cereal to raise money for charity, said Famous Fixins Inc., a food distributor.

All of Plummer's proceeds from "Jake's Flakes" will go to his recently created charitable foundation, which supports children's causes and Alzheimer's organizations. The company didn't say how much Plummer would receive.

Plummer, 24, joins Buffalo Bills quarterback Doug Flutie and Baltimore Orioles third baseman Cal Ripken Jr. in using cereal to raise money for charity.


Promoter Speaks Out

Boxing promoter Tony Holden told Congress he has grown ashamed of the sport he loves.

"There are a few bad seeds out there that give all of us a bad reputation," the promoter from Tulsa told a House Commerce subcommittee. "The image really does give you a tendency to duck your head."

Holden said a law is needed to help rid the industry of abuses that have tarnished its image and protect fighters from people eager to take advantage of their youth, inexperience and sometimes lack of education.

Basketball and football usually draw their rookies from among athletes who have been to college, but in boxing "half the kids might not even have a high school diploma," he said.

Often, he said, "They're going in and negotiating their contracts with no attorney."

Holden was part of a lineup of industry insiders assembled in support of legislation that would give boxers extra legal protection.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio), said it would help states police the boxing industry. The measure would require promoters and organizers of major boxing events to disclose more financial information and to inform state boxing commissions of charges, costs and fees they take out of boxers' purses. No boxing contract could extend longer than a year, making it more difficult to obligate fighters to long-term deals in exchange for a shot at a world title.

Special Olympics

Md. Athletes Excel

Several Team Maryland athletes were among the top finishers at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Raleigh, N.C. Cory Roberson of Baltimore won the men's 17th Division 4-kg shot put with a toss of 4 meters 55 centimeters. In the aquatics competition, Christina Ratcliffe of Waldorf placed second in the women's 1st Division 100-meter backstroke in 4 minutes 58.91 seconds. James Epp of White Plains finished fourth in the men's 3rd Division 50-meter freestyle in 1:21.13 and third in the 3rd Division 50-meter backstroke in 1:20.43. Martin Valaske of Annapolis finished fourth in the men's 8th Division 50-meter freestyle in 56.28 seconds.


Lethridge Wins Suit

A jury awarded former Texas Tech quarterback Zebbie Lethridge $22.5 million in his lawsuit against Dillard's department store and a security guard.

Jurors in the 364th District Court in Lubbock, Tex., made the decision in a 1995 incident in which Lethridge and two friends were accused of stealing a pair of earrings from a Dillard's store. Lethridge, who starred for four years at Texas Tech, is a cornerback with the Dallas Cowboys.

After Lethridge, 24, was found innocent of the charge in Lubbock Municipal Court, he filed a civil suit saying Dillard's and security guard Tom Robison accused him of shoplifting only because he is black.


Rongen Named

D.C. United Coach Thomas Rongen was named coach of the Eastern Conference team for the 1999 MLS All-Star Game in San Diego on July 17. Rongen was given the honor based on United's place atop the conference with an 11-5 record. He also coached the Eastern team in 1996, when he was the coach of the Tampa Bay Mutiny. Colorado's Glenn Myernick will lead the Western squad. Starters will be named July 8.

CAPTION: The remainder of more than 29,000 fans who showed up at All England club wait for a Wimbledon match, but play was canceled. Story on Page D10.