After Anthony Rizzo won it in 2017, Yadier Molina is the Roberto Clemente Award recipient for 2018 for providing aid to victims of Hurricane Maria, which hit his birthplace of Puerto Rico last year.
The Roberto Clemente Award, named after baseball legend and humanitarian Roberto Clemente, is voted on by fans and members of the media, and is an annual award given to the player who according to the commissioner of baseball Robert Manfred, “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.”
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Hello fans, Yadi Molina here. I am so sorry I could’t be there to accept the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award in person, but I am currently in Colombia managing the next generation of Puerto Rican baseball stars on the under-23 national team playing in the Baseball World Cup. I tried my hardest to be there in person, but the travel was just impossible, so I sent my lovely wife and kids to be there for me. This award means more to me than I can express. As a native Puerto Rican, Roberto Clemente was everything I ever wanted to be growing up. He loved the game. He loved his island. He loved people. I pride myself in all of those things. So for me when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last year, I knew I wanted to make him and my island proud by serving any way that I could. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the Cardinals organization for nominating me, to MLB for recognizing the great Roberto Clemente year after year, and of course to the fans for supporting me and my foundation’s relief efforts this year. I wish I could be there, but just know that this honor is one of the proudest of my life. Good luck to the Dodgers and Red Sox for a great World Series! Thank you all! y en español … Puerto Rico Te Amo!! Gracias a todos . mis exitos son todos de ustedes !! Graciasss los amo
Wanda Molina, Yadier’s wife, accepted the award on his behalf while Molina was in Columbia coaching the Puerto Rican 23-U National Baseball Team. Molina had a solid 2018 year in which he hit .261 with 20 home runs, 120 hits, 74 runs batted in, 55 runs, and a 1.8 WAR.