OAKLAND, Calif. - The Oakland Athletics today announced the launch of the first online verification ticketing service for U.S. military and government first responders. The program, part of an overall Major League Baseball initiative and offered through new technology and verification partner, GovX, will offer discounted A's tickets, programs and recognition events specifically for those who serve and protect, including active and veteran U.S. military, first responders and related government employees.

"We're proud to take the lead in offering this terrific program to our fans in the military and first responder communities," A's reliever Sean Doolittle said. "These men and women sacrifice so much for our country and community, and it's the least we could do to express our gratitude. As a proud member of a military family, I know firsthand the dedication it takes." Doolittle's father is retired from the United States Air Force, and his mother is active in the National Guard.

Through its multi-platform technology, GovX will provide a direct sales channel integrated with the A's ticketing platform to ensure accurate verification for the Oakland A's. In addition, GovX will be an official sponsor of the patriotic-themed July 3 fireworks show. GovX has also worked with the A's to create Salute to Service Sundays presented by GovX, which will honor a local hero and GovX member during 11 home games throughout the season. 

The first GovX hero to be honored will be San Francisco resident Matt Shortal, a U.S. Marine that served 36 missions in Iraq and was named the 2004 Marine Aviator of the Year. A TOPGUN graduate and Blue Angel pilot, Shortal will throw out the first pitch on July 3 before the A's face the Chicago Cubs.

Having begun as the only ecommerce destination providing military and first responders significant discounts on products and services for active and off-duty military and government first responders, San Diego-based GovX further expands its offerings to include discounts on premium sports and other event ticketing with this partnership. To date, there are more than three million members of the GovX controlled-access commerce network that have access to this privileged discount service.

To access the discount, which is available for all Sunday regular season home games, qualified fans can visit the designated first responder recognition page on www.oaklandathletics.com. Upon selecting the desired game, users who are not already GovX members are directed to a simple online verification page to complete the one-time verification. From there, users proceed with their ticket selection, where the discount is automatically applied. The purchased tickets can be emailed or downloaded from there.

In addition to discounted tickets, this partnership will include specials on officially licensed merchandise through the MLB.com Shop as well as MLB.TV, MLBAM's out-of-market live video streaming subscription product. For information on all GovX MLB and team deals, visit www.GovX.com.