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Matt Harvey almost missed cut for ESPN The Magazine's 'Body Issue'

Matt Harvey pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks at

Matt Harvey pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. (July 3, 2013) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Matt Harvey, who bares (almost) all for ESPN The Magazine’s annual “Body Issue” that hits newsstands this week, barely made it into the publication.

Neely Lohmann, senior deputy editor and producer of the Body Issue, said the athlete list was complete when she heard from Harvey’s publicist last month that he was interested.

“This came very close to when we were about to go to press,” Lohmann said. “I said, ‘I think this is something we need to make an exception for.’ . . . Definitely a good decision.”

Harvey appears in two photos, which were shot June 21 in Philadelphia and can be viewed with the rest at ESPN.com/bodyissue beginning Tuesday morning.

One is a classic pitching pose shot from the side and back. The other is . . . less traditional. Harvey is shown leaving a hotel room carrying a strategically placed room service tray. “He showed up all-in and willing to have some fun with it,” Lohmann said.

She said Harvey is the first major-league pitcher in the five-year history of the issue. “Pitchers have so many different body types,” she said diplomatically. “He is one of these guys who pays a lot of attention to his health and fitness and diet.”

The timing could not be better for ESPN, with Harvey set to appear in the All-Star Game in his home park next Tuesday.

“We really enjoy capturing people and athletes at a certain sweet spot in their career when they’re really taking off,” Lohmann said, “right at that moment where they’re becoming a household name."

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