It started 63 years ago. Back when you could actually walk into the lobby of a hotel and catch a former president going out for a stroll and not get beaten back by security or Secret Service. Tom Cooney took a walk with Herbert Hoover and then got him to sign the baseball he was carrying. Since then, Cooney has made sure to get every president to sign it–somehow, some way.
The only two he’s missing are John F. Kennedy, who died before Cooney could get to him (but Jackie signed) and the current resident of the White House, Barack Obama.
There are stories behind all of them.
Cooney seems to have a few political connections on the Republican side, which has helped. His ball was passed around the Bush family’s dinner table.
Now 77, Cooney’s quest continues and the fact that he’s deaf has never slowed him down–in collecting or in life. Read the story here.