Maybe a little healthy ego seeps in when Eavenson talks about his other hobby. He's not saying he's the best at it, but he's in the game.

You might think Eavenson's T-shirt gave the hobby away since he is a big music fan, always partial to the Grateful Dead. But that's not it. He collects political campaign buttons, and it's no idle pastime. Eavenson figures he has "ballpark, maybe 25,000" buttons.

Not all those 273,000 Mustang miles are spent on basketball. He's as active at collecting as he is in evaluating ballplayers.

"I hunt for quality players the way I hunt for quality buttons,'' Eavenson said. "It's the same motivation. … Basically. the first button was made in 1896 for the McKinley campaign. They would be the oldest buttons I have. Prior to that, campaigns made metal tokens and they made a lot of ribbons."

He has some of those?

"I think the oldest item I have, I have a ribbon for Henry Clay in 1844," Eavenson said, noting he has buttons from every presidential campaign from 1896 on up. He specializes in 1964 to the present, and prizes his collection of "coattail" buttons, meaning somebody running for Senate or a local office also has the president on the button, riding his coattails.

[Don't call Norm Eavenson a hoops scout, but do call him a keen eye for raw talent]

"I have buttons that might say Nixon-Scott — that's Nixon for president and Hugh Scott for U.S. Senate," Eavenson said. His button worth the most, he said, has Franklin D. Roosevelt for president and Lyndon Johnson for Senate in Texas, 80 years old. He also believes he has the greatest assortment of Frank Rizzo buttons.

"And Philadelphia mayor is off the chart," Eavenson said. "I love my Philadelphia mayor collection. This goes back to the late 1800s."

So every four years, Eavenson gets especially busy, buying and trading online and getting to shows.

"Now I'm not bragging, but you can just go to Mike Dukakis or any of those candidacies from Ford on up, my collection — my collection is not the best in the hobby, but it's top-five," he said. "There's somebody out there who went after Dukakis harder than I did, but I'm still top-five, every year."