Search Engine for Sports Stats

The name of the site sounds like the noise I make when someone asks me what I want to do for dinner. “Do you want to go out?” “Enth.” But it’s not a search engine for people indifferent to meal choices, it’s a search engine for sports stats that uses natural language. Enth is in beta testing at .

Enth, according to its announcement, can get data on any baseball player who played in the established major leagues since 1871. It’s noted that National Football League data is available now but there’s no indication of how far back THAT goes.

The searching is natural language. I started with What Cubs player hit the most home runs in 2004?. After a few seconds, I got, not the specific answer, but a table of the players who hit the most home runs in 2004 for the Chicago Cubs — starting with Moises Alou (39) and going down to Nomar Garciaparra (4). The result page also showed how the query was broken down and which words were ignored.

Enth doesn’t do as well with more ambiguous questions. I asked Who was the worst player on the 2002 Texas Rangers? I got two sets of player listings — one for pitchers and one for batters — but couldn’t easily determine what was determining the order for each list. It’s better to request some kind of stat in your questions when asking about teams as a whole.

Asking about individuals is something else entirely. To get stats on a person just put their name in the search box. I entered Catfish Hunter (don’t enter quotes, you’ll make Enth throw up.) I got back two lines of data — one for his pitching career and one for his hitting career. These are lifetime stats. To get stats for just one season add a year to the query. Catfish Hunter 1971 provided only hitting and pitching stats for 1971. The National Football League search works much the same way, though you’ll get more lines of data — offense, defense, special teams, etc.

I did find times occasionally when the information was not complete. The late Fred Lane, for example, was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Carolina Panthers in 1997. Enth had information on his rushing yardage, but not on standard player stats like position, year signed, school attended, etc.

There were very few holes like that I found, however, and Enth was very responsive to natural language questions. You’ll need to be a bit of a stats wonk to unravel the data provided, but it’s very easy to search through. Worth a look for the sporties.

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