Litwhiler had to overcome serious knee injuries in the minor leagues. Called up by the Phillies late in the 1940 season, he batted .345, hitting in 21 straight games. The following year he had a career-high 18 home runs, collecting one in every NL park. In 1942 he became the first major league outfielder to play at least 150 games in a season without making an error. He was traded in 1943 to the Cardinals, who won pennants in 1943 and 1944. His was one of two Cardinal homers hit in their 2-0 victory over the Browns in Game Five of the ’44 World Series. Because of his badly damaged knee, Litwhiler was originally classified 4F, but in 1945 the Selective Service began targeting ballplayers. After spending 1945 in the military playing baseball at Fort Lewis, Litwhiler was solely a platoon player for the rest of his ML career.