Kansas Vs. Minnesota in a Battle to See Who Has the Bigger Ball
There can only be one world’s largest of any given object. This rule applies to any specific you can conceive of. No matter what it is, there can only be one that can lay claim to the title of largest in the entire world. It’s indisputable.
A dispute has arisen, though, in the case of the world’s largest Ball of Twine. Residents of Cawker City, Kansas have for decades gone head to head with those of Darwin, Minnesota, to lay claim to this somewhat prestigious and not much sought after title.
The two balls began their battle in the early 1950s. The Minnesota Twine Ball was started when one Francis Johnson began gathering all of his extra twine into a ball in 1950. He spent the next 39 years rolling twine for at least four hours each day. Three years after Johnson’s start, Frank Stoeber started rolling his twine in Cawker City. The two battled for dominance throughout their lives. Stoeber surpassed Johnson in the late 1950s, and held the title until his death in 1974. Johnson kept rolling twine after this, reclaiming the title for Minnesota. His ball topped out at 12 feet.
The residents of Cawker City took up the torch of twine rolling and continued their fallen hero’s feat. Kansas residents come from far and wide to add to the ball Frank Stoeber began a half century ago. It has once again surpassed the Minnesota ball, and now weighs in at over three tons. The ball is beginning to not even resemble a ball––the ball is too heavy to lift off the ground for wrapping anymore, so an abundance of twine has built up on the sides of the object, taking away from its shape as a perfect sphere.
So these days, the title is in dispute to a degree. Cawker City’s ball of twine is definitely bigger than the one over in Darwin, Minnesota. But purists argue that Darwin’s ball is more notable because it is the largest ball of twine in the world rolled by a single person––no one has ever added an inch of twine to it besides the late, great, Francis Johnson. Others argue that Cawker City’s “ball” is so non-spherical that the title should default back into the hands of Darwin.
The World’s Largest Ball of Twine is out there, somewhere. Go to Cawker City and see one of the contenders with your own eyes. While you’re there, you can even roll your own twine onto the infamous ball.