The annual honor is given for contributions on and off the field that best represent the sport and is named for the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famer, who died on Dec. 31, 1972, in a plane crash while on a humanitarian mission to assist earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
"Their commitment to making a difference in the lives of children is a wonderful reflection of the legacy the legendary Roberto Clemente has left on our game and in society," baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said.
Konerko, the first member of the White Sox to receive the award, and wife Jennifer founded the "Bring Me Home Campaign," which also includes a pair of former teammates in retired great Jim Thome and the Los Angeles Angels' Gordon Beckham. The campaign says it has raised nearly $450,000 to assist foster children in Illinois.
"Jennifer and I are truly humbled to receive an award named after such a special player and person," Konerko said in a statement released through Major League Baseball. "It's also a great honor to share this award with Jimmy Rollins, who is someone I have always respected for his approach to the game. This award caps off what has been a special final season for me."
White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, who has also been lauded for his work in the community, was proud of his team's former leader.
"This is Major League Baseball's highest community honor, and it is very fitting that Paul caps off an outstanding career with this recognition," Reinsdorf said in the statement. "Throughout his White Sox career, Paul was a leader of our team both on the field and in the community. A consummate role model for all professional athletes, Paul thrilled millions of fans with his heroics on the diamond and impacted the lives of countless more through his community efforts with Jennifer. Together, they have changed lives forever, and that is a very special legacy to leave behind."
Konerko's wife, Jennifer, has six siblings who were adopted.
"I think most people get into charitable work a lot of times with what they've experienced close to them or what they've seen," he said. "It was kind of a no-brainer."
A six-time All-Star, Konerko hit .279 with 439 homers and 1,412 RBIs in 18 major league seasons.
"It's really cool that winning it with Jimmy," Konerko said. "I didn't play a whole bunch against with him being in the National League, but our careers are kind of the same arc, same timeline."
Rollins, a three-time All-Star, developed JRoll's Aces in 2007 through The Rollins Family Foundation to provide tickets to children in disadvantaged areas who excel in academics. He also is involved in the reading program J-Roll's Readers and has raised more than $1 million for youth medical research, abuse prevention and food programs.
Rollins' charitable work with arthritis began after his own elbow pain.
"I was working out and it was like, man, this just hurts for no reason, just to bend an elbow it hurts. And I thought what would it be like to be a kid or to be a young adolescent and to have this, not because of work, but because it's a condition," Rollins said. "We put together some events, met up with the Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation and they had a camp.
"I did that for a number of years, and then Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania for two years before ultimately last year making a transition to something I can have or we can have a more direct effect with the community and the area. Something that was larger than what we had been previously doing. I like to eat, personally. I like good food, and I tell my mom, `Don't hold back the good food. I don't care what it costs, let's go get it."
This was the first tie for the award, which began in 1971. It was voted on by a group that included Clemente's widow and baseball executives, broadcasters, writers and sponsors.
The past 10 winners of the Roberto Clemente Award are a who's-who of baseball. The list includes Carlos Beltran, Clayton Kershaw, David Ortiz, Tim Wakefield, Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, Craig Biggio, Carlos Delgado, John Smoltz and Edgar Martinez.
ESPNChicago.com's Doug Padilla contributed to this report.