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Yadier Molina wins 2018 Roberto Clemente Award

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Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has been named the winner of the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award. The Roberto Clemente Award, voted on by fans and members of the media, is an annual award given to the player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.”

Molina is the fifth Cardinal to win the award, joining Lou Brock (1975), Ozzie Smith (1995), Albert Pujols (2008), and Carlos Beltrán (2013). Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo won it last year.

Molina has been providing aid to victims of Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico last year. He posted about winning the award on Instagram:

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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

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Molina wasn’t available to receive the award in person on Wednesday because he is coaching the Puerto Rican 23-U national team in Colombia. Molina’s wife, Wanda, accepted the award on his behalf.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.