The National League baseball season opened yesterday with the eastern and western teams playing in their respective divisions and with favorable weather conditions in each city where the games were scheduled. There were games in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and St. Louis and in each instance the home teams lost. Boston shut out Brooklyn, 2 to 0, New York defeated Philadelphia, 3 to 2, Chicago rather easily took the initial game from Cincinnati, 7 to 2, while Pittsburg and St. Louis after struggling through 12 innings without a score engaged in an exciting finish in the 13th, the home team’s one tally in that inning being overcome by two runs scored by the visitors.

50 Years Ago, 1956

A plank calling for a sales tax increase if Maine needs additional revenue was stricken from a proposed platform of the Republican state convention tonight.

The deletion by the Resolutions Committee leaves the platform without any definite suggestion for raising money if it is needed to finance proposed new state services. The tax plank expresses opposition to an income tax. Maine now has a 2 per cent sales tax.

25 Years Ago, 1981

• Space shuttle Columbia shot straight for the heavens on a tower of white hot flame Sunday and sailed a perfect course around earth; a spectacular beginning to an American era of making space a workplace for mankind.

• The United States has rejoined the space race. The last time Americans were in space, it was a joint mission with the Soviet Union. Since then, 43 cosmonauts have been launched into orbit. Two have been afloat in space since last month.

Now, the Soviets are not alone.

Columbia’s successful launch ends a six-year drought in the U.S. man-in-space program and signals this nation’s intention to regain eminence in a domain it once dominated with the man-on-the-moon missions.