Clemente was a 15-time All-Star for the Pirates who died in a plane crash in 1972 while delivering humanitarian aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Each team nominates a player who embodies that humanitarian spirit.
Molina has been providing aid to victims of 2017's Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico.
"I feel very honored, very proud to receive the Roberto Clemente Award," Molina told ESPN's Marly Rivera. "It really is a dream come true. Obviously we help others not thinking about getting awards. You bring aid because it comes from your heart. You want to help people because it comes from the heart. It's never about looking for awards. But I feel very happy that our team at Fundación 4 (Foundation 4) is being recognized. We are still working, bringing help to Puerto Rico and I'm really happy for that.
"I hope this award raises awareness that there are many people in Puerto Rico who still need help. There are many houses without roofs. There are many people who lost their homes. There are many people without water. We still need a lot of help, and at Foundation 4 we are focused on getting that help. We are helping many people and doing many things, and I don't really like to talk about that or for people to find out, because that's not the idea. That's not why we do it. But we still need help to try to continue helping our people and people in need."
Molina's older brother Bengie, a former Gold Glove catcher in his own right, tweeted his congratulations.
HECK YEAH!!👍🏽CONGRATULATIONS to my bro @Yadimolina04 on winning one of the most prestigious award there is, THE ROBERTO CLEMENTE AWARD, VAMO ARRIBA🇵🇷WE LOVE YOU BRO!!💪🏽What a GREAT HONOR!!🙏🏽— Bengie Molina (@BengieMolina1) October 24, 2018
THANK YOU GOD!! #ROBERTOCLEMENTE21 @Cardinals pic.twitter.com/wmmKKsdrBi
Molina had hoped to be at Fenway Park Wednesday night to receive the award but remained with the Puerto Rican U-23 team in Colombia. He is the manager of the team. Molina's wife, Wanda, is receiving the award on his behalf.
"Boston obviously beat us in two World Series, so going to Boston brings back some bad memories," Molina said. "But I'm very happy for Alex (Cora), for Ramón Vázquez; they have done a great job. I'm also happy for Christian Vázquez, and Kiké Hernández on the other side, on the Dodgers. We have four Puerto Ricans in the World Series. I am very happy for them."
Molina is a nine-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner who, like Clemente, has spent his entire career with one team.
The Roberto Clemente Award was originally named the Commissioner's Award and has been presented since 1971. Willie Mays was the first winner. After Clemente's death, the award was renamed in 1973.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, a cancer survivor whose foundation supports children battling cancer, was last year's recipient of the award.