Harold "Hy" Vandenberg was born in Abilene, Kansas on March 17, 1906. He attended Roosevelt High School for three years, and transferred to South High School from which he graduated after one year. He was captain of the football and basketball teams, and all-city in both; the baseball team didnít have captains.
He signed that professional baseball contract right out of high school with the Minneapolis Millers and split the 1931 season between the Millers and Bloomington, after Minneapolis transferred him to the Three-I League.
In 1934, he played for three teams, Minneapolis, Williamsport, and Chattanooga. He went to the Syracuse Chiefs in the spring of 1935 and was pitching well when, in May, the Boston Red Sox acquired him.
Hy debuted in the first game of a doubleheader with the Yankees in June and in three appearances, with his ERA at 20.25, the Red Sox had seen enough. He wrapped up the season with Syracuse.
Hy put up back-to-back 15-17 seasons, with Syracuse again in 1936 and then in 1937 with the International League Baltimore Orioles. He was purchased in a cash deal by the New York Giants in July, and the Giants called him up to the majors where he appeared in one game, October 1st at Ebbets Field
In 1938 and 1939, he was with the Giantsí Jersey City affiliate and had one very good year at 15-10, with a 2.72 ERA in 1939, when Jersey City won the pennant, bracketed by two seasons where he didnít get as much work. He was with the Giants early and late, appearing in three games in April and May and three more in August and September. In between, shortly after heíd been optioned to Jersey City, he broke his foot.
Finally, in 1940, he got his first win in the big leagues. He had a much stronger spring and was expected to contribute significantly but appeared in just 13 games. His last decision that year came in his last appearance in July. He spent the rest of the year with Jersey City again.
The Cardinals must have seen a little something at some point, because in January 1941, they purchased his contract from the Giants. He trained with the Cardinals in the springtime but never could come to terms with Branch Rickey and in April, they released him outright to Rochester, a Cardinals farm club. He pitched in 1942 for the Milwaukee Brewers (American Association) in 42 games.
Because of a broken leg, he was exempted from military service but worked at a war plant in Milwaukee in 1943, later in the year pitching for the Mitby Sathers in the Park National League in Minneapolis.
In April 1944 the Chicago Cubs bought his contract from the Brewers. With the Cubs in 1944, Hy appeared in more games than his entire preceding career combined. He started nine games, closed 16, and appeared in 35.
He trained with the Cubs in spring training of 1946, but in early April, he was released unconditionally to the Oakland Oaks in the Pacific Coast League. But his heart wasnít fully in it and he was purchased by the Milwaukee Brewers in August playing for them in 1946. The Oklahoma City club bought his contract for 1947, but he left professional baseball and pitched for Springfield, Minnesota, in the amateur Western Minor League.
His post-baseball career was as an engineering technician for the Hennepin County Highway Administration in Minnesota.
Hy Vandenberg died from cancer, at home on July 31, 1994, in Bloomington, Minnesota at age 88.