Eckford of Brooklyn, or simply Eckford, was an American baseball club from 1855 to 1872. When the Union Grounds opened on May 15, 1862 for baseball in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, it became the first enclosed baseball grounds in America. Three clubs called the field on the corner of Marcy Avenue and Rutledge Street home; however, the Eckford of Brooklyn were the most famous tenant. They played more games than any other club that year (7) and won the "national" championship, repeating the feat in 1863. During that two year period, the Eckfords won 22 straight matches which was the longest undefeated and untied streak to date. In the late 1860s, they were one of the pioneering professional clubs, although probably second to Mutual of New York at the home park. In its final season, Eckford entered the second championship of the National Association, the first professional baseball league in America, so it is considered a major league club by those who count the NA as a major league.
Formally organized on June 27, 1855, the Eckford Base Ball Club was named for shipbuilder Henry Eckford whose base of operations from the late 1790s until the early 1830s was Brooklyn, New York. He designed many American warships that participated in the War of 1812. The team's first president was Frank Pidgeon, who was one of Eckford's founding members.
From the sports page of Chicago's Daily Inter Ocean newspaper, December 20, 1879, p. 3: "Peter Tostevin, whose name was identified with the early history of the once famous Eckford Club of Brooklyn, N.Y., died in that city Dec. 8, aged 52. He assisted in organizing that club, and played first base during the seasons of 1856-57, and third base during 1858, filling the office of President in the latter year." Immigration and census records show that Peter Tostevin, a resident of Brooklyn, was born in France in about 1827, that he immigrated to the United States on May 31, 1852, and that he was a mason and master builder.
Eckford was one of 16 participants in the 1857 convention, all from modern New York City. There the pioneer New York Knickerbockers essentially transferred baseball governance to the leading clubs as a group, so the event is traditionally considered the birthday of the National Association of Base Ball Players and the participants are considered the NABBP charter members.