Lowrey came to the Cubs during the war years. When Chicago won its last pennant in 1945, he contributed a .283 BA and 89 RBI. But after several years of steady play, he was traded with Harry Walker to the Reds in 1949 for Frank Baumholtz and Hank Sauer in one of the best deals the Cubs ever made. Lowrey slumped in Cincinnati, but upon his sale to the Cardinals in 1950, his career enjoyed a rebirth. He batted a career high .303 in 1951 and led the NL in pinch hits with 13 in 1952 and 22 in 1953.
His nickname stemmed from the fact that his grandfather described the infant Lowrey as “no bigger than a peanut.” Later, when he performed in child bit parts in silent films, actress Thema Todd reportedly gained his good behavior with promises to buy him peanuts. He also had a speaking part in The Winning Team, which starred Ronald Reagan as Grover Cleveland Alexander.