By Julie Shapiro
LOWER MANHATTAN — This could be the Yankees’ year … again.
That’s what team manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday morning as he unveiled a plaque in the Canyon of Heroes to honor the Yankees’ 2009 World Series victory.
The 460-pound granite plate is embedded in the sidewalk on lower Broadway in front of the Woolworth Building near Park Place.
“I’m proud to be here today,” Girardi said, adding that he hopes to be back next year after another winning season.
Surrounded by young, wide-eyed fans, Girardi rolled back a red carpet to reveal a black granite marker commemorating the Bronx Bombers’ most recent ticker-tape parade, a massive celebration that filled lower Manhattan last November.
The Downtown Alliance, the business improvement district that sponsors the 204 commemorative sidewalk plaques along lower Broadway — this being the Yankees’ seventh — invited local children from Downtown Little League to Tuesday’s ceremony.
The 7- and 8-year-olds from the league’s "Yankees" team swarmed Girardi afterward, bouncing with excitement as he autographed baseballs, caps and scraps of paper.
“It’s awesome,” said Tucker Smith, 7, a little leaguer who lives in TriBeCa and wants to be a big league Yankee when he grows up. “Getting an autograph from someone like Joe is just awesome.”
The kids weren’t the only ones who were star-struck.
“It was amazing,” said Jim Conley, 51, a TriBeCa resident who coaches the little league’s Yankees team. “To meet Joe Girardi — it just doesn’t get any better than that.”