FROM the red light district of Amsterdam to the playing fields in Woden, Kody Hightower is back in Canberra and the Cavalry star wants to become the best hitter in the Australian Baseball League.
But before his Cavalry season begins, the United States import needs to get back in his ''routine'' of Vegemite before every match.
Hightower, one of the Cavalry's best players last season, went on a 14-game hitting streak to lead the league in batting averages.
He'll start fine-tuning his swing when the ACT Baseball competition opens today and he lines up for the defending champions Weston Creek Indians.
But after spending the ABL off-season playing 20 minutes outside of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the 26-year-old says he needs to slot back into his ABL groove.
That includes holding his nose and downing Vegemite as his pre-game ritual.
''I've been telling everyone, my family and friends, that I couldn't wait to get back here [to Canberra],'' Hightower said.
''Last season I got in a routine and when I got on a 14-game hitting streak I was claiming it was the Vegemite before every game.
''It's not very tasteful, it's like a soy sauce taste to me, but if it works, why not?
''It was a bit different [in the Netherlands]. Amsterdam was the place to go if you want to go out … that place is a little different and a culture shock, it's wild.''
The ABL season starts with the Cavalry playing a three-game series against the Sydney Blue Sox from November 2.
That gives Hightower and some of his Cavalry teammates a month to work on their games in Canberra's first-grade competition.
Hightower was with the Ainslie-Gungahlin Bears last season, however, because the Bears recruited him to Australia he had to choose between club and ABL duties.
He played for the Bears in the losing grand final series against the Indians and has now switched sides.
ACT Baseball round one: Belconnen Bandits v Ainslie-Gungahlin Bears at Belconnen, Kambah Eagles v Tuggeranong Vikings at Kambah, Woden Rebels v Weston Creek Indians at Woden. All games at 3pm.