RETIRED: Veteran pitcher PHIL NIEKRO, 48, who was reacquired by the Atlanta Braves earlier in the week and made his farewell appearance Sunday against the San Francisco Giants. The knuckle-bailer, who spent the first 20 years of his 24-year major league career with the Braves before being released in 1983, later played for the New York Yankees, the Cleveland Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays. He has a lifetime record of 318-274.
RETIRING: New York Islander defenseman DENIS POTVIN, 33, at the end of the 1987-88 season. The veteran and seven-time All-Star is the highest-scoring defenseman in NHL history, with 291 goals and 710 assists in 14 years.
SUSPENDED: Talks between representatives of the striking National Football League Players Association and the league's 28 owners (page 38).
TRADED: By the Chicago Cubs, righthanded pitcher DICKIE NOLES, 30, to the Detroit Tigers, for a player to be named later. The nine-year veteran has a 4.48 ERA and a 36-50 record with four teams.
DIED: DREW (Bundini) BROWN, 59, who worked as Muhammad Ali's cornerman throughout the fighter's career and coined the phrase "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee"; of pulmonary arrest; in Los Angeles.
Hugh Duffy Daugherty, 72, former Michigan State football coach and ABC television analyst; of kidney failure and heart disease; in Santa Barbara, Calif. From 1954 to 1972 he led State's Spartans to a 109-69-5 record and two Big Ten championships.