It is always a great sign of Spring being around the corner as Major League Baseball teams begin training camps this week in Florida and Arizona. The pitchers and catchers arrive this week followed by the rest of the team next week.

They will all prepare for the first Spring training games on their schedules.  For the St. Louis Cardinals, their first spring game is with the New York Mets on Saturday, February 22. The Chicago Cubs play the same day against the Oakland A's and the Chicago White Sox also meet the  Los Angeles Angels that day. The Kansas City Royals will play the very first spring training game on Friday, February 21 against the Texas Rangers.

Major league baseball has scheduled all 30 teams will play on March 28, the earliest opening day in history, excluding international openers. The previous earliest opening day was March 29 of last year.  The Cardinals open at Cincinnati, the Cubs open in Milwaukee and the Royals open the season in Chicago against the White Sox.

The 2020 season will have it all including rare Inter-league matchups, the annual renewal of rivalries, superstars squaring off, games played abroad, special events like the Little League Classic in Pennsylvania and the Field of Dreams game in Iowa.

Here are some 2020 facts to be aware of for fans of the Cardinals, Cubs, Royals and White Sox this upcoming year:

The Cardinals don't host the rival Cubs for the first time until June 13-14 and that will be at London Stadium in England for the 2020 London Series. But they'll play two big four-game series in St. Louis after that -- the first to close a 10-game home stand coming out of the All-Star break (July 23-26), and the second in the middle of the season's stretch run (Sept. 10-13).

When the Cubs play the Red Sox, it's a historic ballpark no matter who's hosting. But Boston hasn't been to Wrigley Field since 2012, while the Cubs have gone to Fenway Park twice since then. The Red Sox return in 2020 for three games in Chicago from June 19-21

From July 24-26, the Royals will meet the Padres at Kauffman Stadium. It will mark the return of Eric Hosmer, who led the Royals to their 2015 World Series championship, for the first time as a visiting player.

The White Sox will host three big series later in the season, facing the Cubs from July 7-8, the Yankees in the M.L.B. at "Field of Dreams" game on Thursday, August 13, and the Dodgers from September 8-10. The Field of Dreams game will make history as the first M.L.B. game played in Iowa.

It's almost time to say "Play Ball".

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