By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
Mogadore native Lexie Handley recently signed a contract to play for the Texas Smoke, which is a professional softball team based out of Austin, Tx., that competes in the Women’s Professional Fastpitch League.
Handley is currently in her off-season from the Japanese Diamond League as a member of the Denso Bright Pegasus.
The left-handed pitcher jumped at the opportunity to continue to play during her down period.
“Visibility is so important to me,” said Handley, who graduated from St. Vincent-St. Mary in 2016. “That’s a big reason why I decided to devote my off summer to this. I believe in (the league’s) visions, and I believe in letting little girls see strength in differences. I’m playing amongst women who played multiple times in the Women College World Series, have incredible collegiate and pro accolades and don’t look anything like me. But we all get to eat dinner together after games and giggle in the locker room. How cool is that?”
- To read an in-depth story about Lexie Handley’s career in softball, enjoy this feature story that published back in April!
The Texas Smoke are owned by former Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds infielder Brandon Phillips. The team is part of the four-team Women’s Professional Fastpitch League.
Handley’s opportunity unfolded quickly.
She had a flight from Japan back to Mogadore on June 20, was contacted to join the Smoke on June 21 and eventually was on a flight to Austin on June 30.
In addition to her love of softball and her continued vision to be visible in the sport, Handley also found inspiration in the WPF’s motto.
“The WPF’s motto is #ProtectHerDream and that gives me goosebumps,” Handley said. “I am her. Every little girl who I’ve ever high-fived or given a lesson to or who follow me on social media is her. The women before me who gave their all to grow professional ball are her. The ones in college now are her. The ones being recruited are her. My future daughters and granddaughters are her. That hits hard.”