May 30, 2012 3:27 PM | By Jason Buckland, MSN Sports
The origins of your favourite sports

Hockey Night in 1700's England



From hockey to baseball and on down the line, here are the little-known roots of some of the world's most popular sports. (© Carl Giden/Patrick Houda photo)
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  • From hockey to baseball and on down the line, here are the little-known roots of some of the world's most popular sports. (© Carl Giden/Patrick Houda photo)
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The latest addition to the annals of hockey isn't the L.A. Kings' bid for their first-ever Stanley Cup, nor is it Martin Brodeur's insistence on adding a fourth title to his résumé. It's an engraving that shows a young man on skates atop the frozen Thames River, batting around what looks like a puck during a winter in the late 18th century.

The image, drawn in 1796 and found recently by two Swedish sports historians, is now believed to be the earliest-known portrait of a hockey player on record. It's an interesting piece of history, and one that got MSN thinking: what other secrets are our favourite sports hiding? From football to baseball and on down the line, here are the little-known roots of some of the world's most popular sports.

* Bing: When was the Rangers' last Cup win?

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