After selling nearly 25,000 items at auction ranging from the rare and unique to just downright strange, Goldin Auctions may have uncovered its most unique item ever - and simultaneously divulged a little-known story in which two of the greatest athletes in modern times unknowingly crossed paths.
This item will be up for bids in the 2016 Goldin Auctions Live Summer Auction at the National Sports Collector's Convention on Aug. 4 in Atlantic City, N.J.
The item for sale is the purchase agreement from a house in Overbrook Section of Philadelphia, dated April 27, 1973. John and Mildred Cox, who just happen to be the parents of Pamela Cox – the mother of Kobe Bryant – bought the split-level home for $67,000. But it is not the buyers of the house that make the document unique – the sellers of the house to the Cox family were none other than Muhammad and Belinda Ali. That's right – Kobe Bryant's grandparents bought Muhammad Ali's home. And as a result, Kobe spent a large part of his childhood at Ali's former home.
Up for auction is the simple two-page purchase agreement for the house. The contract is signed in blue ink by both Muhammad Ali and Belinda Ali. Both signatures are clear and legible. An additional lot being offered in a corresponding online auction offers a decorative wood bench with purple fabric that was in the house when the Cox family bought the home.
"I have read hundreds of books, articles and more about both Muhammad Ali and Kobe Bryant, but it was not until Mrs. Cox called me that I became aware of this story. In this day and age of media coverage, it's amazing that this has never been told," said Ken Goldin, founder of Goldin Auctions. "Aside from the historical significance of the item, it's especially unique and rare, as the document contains clear legible signatures from both The Champ and his wife Belinda."
After living in the home for more than 40 years, Mrs. Cox has decided to sell the house and move to Las Vegas to be closer to her daughter and son-in-law (Pam and Joe Bryant) and grandkids.
The house is especially significant in Ali's life as it was the home in which he began raising his family – his twin daughters Jamillah and Rasheda were both born while living in the house. In fact, a feature titled "The Quiet Family Life of Muhammad Ali" appeared in the January 1971 issue of Ebony Magazine and includes numerous photos of Ali and his family in the house.
To register for the auctions or to receive a free catalog, visit www.GoldinAuctions.com. A preview of the auction will be posted on July 8.