Thanks for all the replies!
I didn't think there were any usb AM radios out there that fit my requirements, but it was worth asking
I am moving to Plan B. I did a lot of research on small high quality AM receivers/tuners keeping in mind the low budget factor. I read nothing but good things about the Sony SRF-M37W Walkman in regards to AM reception quality. It's digital(important so I don't need to constantly ask someone to re-tune), small, and runs off 1 AAA battery. I found a slightly used one on Amazon for less than 20USD including shipping. I should be able to sneak that by my accounting department (aka Wife).
Since the Raspberry PI has 2 onboard USB ports, this is perfect. I will use 1 USB for the sound card (required for audio in port). I will use the other usb port to power the Sony Walkman. I did a little googling about USB power output, dusted off my Ohm's law handbook, did a little math, and sketched out a small circuit that will provide 1.5 volts (same as 1 AAA battery). I was able to get all the components for the circuit at a local Radio Shack on my lunch hour yesterday
I plan on constructing the simple circuit this weekend, and will wait patiently for the walkman to arrive. Upon arrival I will hard wire the circuit to the walkman batt. terminals. Trying to keep this as simple and self contained as possible.
If it all works as planned the whole thing will run off an old micro usb phone charger, and an ethernet cable
I'll post another update with some pictures when I have it all finished!
The PI itself is running ARMedSlack aka Slackware ARM! Just thought I needed to mention the Linux element here so the admins don't reject all this as not at all Linux related