GREAT BALLS OF RUBBER: HE'S GOING FOR THE RECORD.

U. of Delaware sophomore John Bain has a lot on his mind – 1,476 pounds, to be exact. That's the weight of Bain's rubber band ball – unofficially the world's largest. He's working to get it over 2,000 pounds by April, the cut-off for the 2000 edition of the Guiness Book of World Records.

It's been about a year since Bain, 21, started the ball to kill time at his job in the mailroom of a Wilmington, Del., law firm. Then it kept getting bigger. And bigger. "When it got to be about 40 pounds I thought, ‘I might as well go all the way,'" Bain says. The current record is 1,022 pounds, held by Steve Partridge of Surrey, England.

Bain keeps his ball – now 4 1/2 feet high and 12 feet in circumference – in the garage of his Wilmington home. He used to work on it about 10 hours per week, but recently, the ball has grown too big for the rubber bands supplied by his sponsor, the Alliance Rubber Company of Hot Springs, Ark.

While Bain's shopping for a new sponsor, he's keeping himself busy – he's started another rubber band ball, which is about baseball-sized. "This one's for fun," Bain says. "The big one is just too hard to play with."

Whoa, that's a little more information than we needed, John!

By Betsy Lowther, U. of Delaware/Photo by John Chabalko, U. of Delaware

Return to Table of Contents